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Hancox returns from injury, eyes big senior season for SV

Seneca Valley senior quarterback Graham Hancox shows his form prior to a recent practice. He has returned from a broken foot and aims to spark the Raiders to a memorable season. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle
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JACKSON TWP — A junior season cut short; a senior season filled with potential.

Graham Hancox is currently in the middle of that narrative.

Seneca Valley’s quarterback was on pace to pass for well over 2,000 yards last season before an injury late in an overtime win over Canon-McMillan in Week 6 sent him to the sideline for the remainder of the season. He threw eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

“At first, I thought I could be back on the field the next week,” Hancox said. “But the bone I broke in my (left) foot takes a long time to heal and I learned I was done for the year.”

He found other ways to contribute to the team.

“I was on the sideline during games with a headset on,” said Hancox. “It kept me in contact with our offensive coordinator (Ryan Lehmeier) and helped me stay in the loop.

“I wanted the guys to know that even though I wasn’t playing, I was still there for them.”

Hancox got to see his backup, sophomore Sean O’Shea, play well in his four starts. The latter finished the season with 532 passing yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions and led a win over rival North Allegheny.

“When people saw that a sophomore would be taking over for us at quarterback, a lot of them probably figured our season was done,” said Hancox. “But Sean exceeded expectations. I thought he managed the situation well.”

Raiders’ coach Ron Butschle was impressed with both of his quarterbacks.

“It was disappointing when Graham got hurt because he was headed on the right trajectory,” he said. “I can’t say enough about what Sean did, came in and won some big games for us.

“We knew as long as he came back healthy, Graham would be the focal point of our offense this year. He has a great demeanor and maturity with his ability to lead on the field. He’s also worked hard on the technique part of his game.”

The healing process tested Hancox’s patience.

“I lifted weights all offseason, but it wasn’t until early July that I felt comfortable planting on that foot,” said Hancox.

Now that he’s fully healthy, Hancox can focus on improving his performance at a very demanding position.

“It was good to get my feet wet last year, but I don’t think I played up to my potential,” Hancox said. “I think we can do more as an offense and we have a lot of guys with something to prove.

“Our offensive line has made a ton of strides. It’s the most improved part of our team. If we can combine our talents, we know we can have a special year. We just have to perform.”

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