Koreen Henry puts together another dominant performance

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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Chambers Academy’s offense has been rolling since week two. The Rebels are on a five-game winning streak, and they have shown no signs of slowing down. A key aspect of the offense has been the dynamic play of senior wideout Koreen Henry. 

This past Friday against Bessemer Academy, Henry averaged nearly 32 yards per reception. In total, he finished with 158 yards receiving and two touchdowns. 

This game was no random flash. Through six games, Henry has 599 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. 

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Henry has made an immediate impact on the team, even though he’s brand new to the team. Before this season, Henry had been at Handley. He knew the level of talent that he had, and Henry wanted a better opportunity to showcase that talent.

“Mostly because I knew I had a better opportunity playing here than I did at Handley because Handley has a lot of good [athletes], but I knew I had good talent too,” Henry said. “I just wanted to take them to Chambers.” 

The transition to Chambers Academy was as smooth as it could have possibly been. The school and team have welcomed him as if Henry had been there his whole life. 

“Coach [Jason] Allen welcomed me with open hands,” Henry said. “Teammates, we’re always joking around in practice, I’m pretty sure they’ve welcomed me.” 

With Henry’s talent, any school would be crazy to not welcome him. In the past, the Rebels have traditionally had an offense that was very focused on the run. Chambers Academy still runs the ball more than some schools, but Henry has added an element to the team’s passing game, and he’s made it easier for the running backs. 

“He’s a guy that can really stretch the field vertically and take the top off the defense,” Allen said. “He’s made it easier for us to run the football because people have to respect his ability to make plays. He’s also stretched the field for us horizontally as well with our speed sweep stuff.” 

Coach Allen and the rest of the coaching staff knew immediately that Henry could be an impact player this season. 

“It took us not very long,” Allen said. “You can see when a guy can run and it was effortless. He just kind of strides and glides. He’s a hard worker, he’s got really good hands. He’s a really good route runner.” 

You would be hard-pressed to find any athlete in Chambers Academy, as well as in the entire county, that is as much of a speed threat as Henry. That speed is something that has completely changed the Rebels’ offense. 

“Anytime you get speed on the field, which Koreen definitely has really good speed, it makes you better offensively,” Allen said. 

Most players look at the numbers and obviously want to have big games statistically. It has never been about the stats for Henry. Going into Friday and every game this season, Henry has just been looking to help his team any way that he can. 

“I wasn’t focused on scoring,” Henry said. “Most of the time, I’m thinking about what can I do to get a first down. If I get a touchdown, I’ll get it. I’m mostly thinking about the team…”

Blocking is not a glamorous task for any wideout. Chambers Academy plays a very smash-mouth brand of football. Henry has had to become a better blocker, and he has bought into that process. 

“We block almost every day in practice,” Henry said. “It’s getting a little better by day.” 

Coach Allen is looking for ways to get Henry even more involved in the offense. Allen still does not believe that the team has used him as a deep threat enough. Currently, the coaching staff is working Henry into run packages and using him as a decoy to set up the rest of the offense. 

“I think we still have not tapped into his full potential, and that’s something we’re trying to do more and more as the season progresses,” Allen said. 

After high school, Henry plans to go into the workforce as a lineman with a power company. Henry could decide to change those plans if a college coach offered him a scholarship to play football. 

Despite this being his first season at Chambers Academy, Henry has built a strong relationship with starting quarterback Kole Baker. That chemistry has been pivotal for the Rebels’ passing game. 

“Most of the time it happens at practice,” Henry said. “If he messes up, I don’t blame him. I just tell him you’re good, we can do it next play. We do a play over and over until we get it right.” 

Henry believes that other teams should be “very” worried about what the Rebels can do on offense. He and the rest of the team have the same goal of finishing the season with a new piece of jewelry on their fingers. 

“They should be scared,” Henry said. “We’ve got to practice hard, play hard and no stupid penalties in the game to cost us.”

After high school, Henry plans to go into the workforce as a lineman with a power company. Henry could decide to change those plans if a college coach offered him a scholarship to play football.