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Lake Geneva Badger quarterback knows his options

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JOHN N. BARRY
October 9, 2008
— When Matt Hensley took over the Lake Geneva Badger football program in 2007, his first order of business was to teach and implement an offense built around the option.

His first student was Jared Stan.


As the quarterback, Stan was to be the key to the entire offense.


Now it's Stan who's giving the lessons.


With Stan directing a potent offense that is averaging 38 points a game, the Badger High is off to a 5-0 start this season, including 3-0 in the Southern Lakes Conference and tied for first place with Waterford. Thanks to Stan's first-team all-conference season in 2007, Badger shared the Lakeshore Conference title—the school's first football championship since 1990.


When talking about the good fortunes of Badger, there's little doubt that Stan is the Man.


"Last year was a learning curve for Jared," Hensley said. "This year, he's just taken it to another level.


"Jared knows that he still makes mistakes or misses reads sometimes, but it's really hard to find fault with the way he's playing right now."


Most of the misses Stan appears to be making involve opposing tacklers. The 5-foot-8, 170-pounder has rushed for 681 yards this season on only 42 carries. That's a whopping 16.2 yards per carry average.


Because the Badgers have been so proficient running the option, passing is just that—a fourth or fifth option. Stan has attempted only 24 passes in five games, but he has thrown for five touchdowns among his 11 completions.


Not that he needed it, but Stan had his "coming out" party against Elkhorn in Week 5 of this season. Stan bewildered the Elks with his feet, rushing for 278 of the 505 yards the Badgers racked up. He scored on touchdown runs of 68, 47, 56 and 66 in Badger's 40-19 victory.


Stan said learning the option offense was frustrating at first. With so many reads to learn and so little time to learn them, early mistakes were plenty.


"We watched a lot of film and practiced for three hours a day at first, and it was still confusing," Stan said of learning Hensley's offense. "But once I started to understand reads and saw how productive the offense could be if we ran it right, it has been a lot of fun.


"We're not very big, especially on the (offensive) line, but we're pretty fast up front. And having Brad Schank and Kyle Spangenberger at fullback, along with Braden Tice at receiver, gives me a lot of weapons to run the option."


The option offense is not predicated on power, but is built more for speed. Hensley said blocks need only be sustained for a second, at most, and that Stan making the correct defensive read is the key.


"I can remember Jared coming back to the huddle during an early practice last season, and it was like a light went off for him," Hensley said.


"The play we just ran worked just like you draw it up because Jared made the right read, and from then on, things just seemed to open up for him.


"Jared's one of the hardest workers we've had. and he's constantly trying to perfect the position."


Obviously, no one is perfect.


But Jared Stan has been awfully close this season.


THE STAN FILE

-- Person I admire most: My father (Greg).


-- Pregame routine: I walk the field with my center, Chris Lois, and listen to music.


-- Best sports memory: Winning the Lakeshore Conference last year.


-- TV show I never miss: "Chappelle's Show."


-- Favorite foods: Tacos, pizza and brats.


-- Favorite pastime: Hanging out with friends.


-- Most prized possession: Gold coins that my great-grandmother gave me.


-- In 10 years, I'll be: Running my own business.


-- Best invention in the last 100 years: Television.


-- If I could have one superpower, it would be: Flying.


-- If I could play any other sport, it would be: Hockey.


-- Favorite all-time player: Michael Jordan.


-- My favorite saying: "One heartbeat, one step."


-- If I could have dinner with one famous person (dead or alive), it would be: Michael Jordan.



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