WINNSBORO — Gunnar Hensley has been playing football for the Richard Winn Eagles since he was just a sixth grader, and took over as the starting quarterback going into this season.
Football has been a passion for him since he was far younger.
“I just always enjoyed playing football, and I like playing for Coach Dickerson too. He is a good coach and I like to be out there with my friends,” Hensley said.
To Hensley football is more than just a game. It has taught him the importance of brotherhood, camaraderie and loyalty.
“It taught me to stick with my friends, my brothers out on the football field and to stand up for them, and to play for what you believe in,” he said.
The Winnsboro fans are a very passionate bunch, and Hensley recognizes just how important football is to them.
“I think the people here in Winnsboro live for it, I really do,” he said.
His most unforgettable moment on the gridiron was last year’s SCISA state championship game, but there is more to Hensley than just his love for football.
“As a person, he is a very quiet kind of guy. He leads more by getting out there and doing what you ask him to do,” Coach Dan Dickerson said about Hensley.
Once the helmet comes off, he is not much different than your average teenager who just enjoys hanging out with his friends around Winnsboro.
Another place he enjoys hanging out is the woods, as he is an avid hunter and fisherman, just like one of his heroes, Bret Favre.
Bret Favre might be one of his heroes, but when naming people he looked up to, his dad came in first on the list. Aaron Rodgers, another Green Bay Packer quarterback, is also someone he cited as an influence.
After high school Hensley will attend The Citadel. Getting accepted to The Citadel is one of his proudest achievements, and something he had dreamed of. Once his Citadel days are done, he plans on starting a family, and a business of his own.
The things he will miss most about high school and football? Being out there with his best friends and just the game itself.
Timothy Wooten is a mass communications major at Winthrop University. He is from Winnsboro.