San Angelo Lake View High head football coach Hector Guevara believes opposing offensive coordinators who advise their quarterbacks to throw away from Chiefs senior cornerback Johnny Espinosa are giving him a compliment.

Those coaches may have the right idea since the 6-foot-1-inch 185-pound Espinosa is the current leader in interceptions in all of Class 4A heading into the 2019 season.

“[He’s] a great athlete and a great leader on the field,” Guevara, who has coached at Lake View three years, told Texas Scorecard. “He works hard at his craft.”

A three-year letterman, Espinosa is a ballhawk. He picked off 11 passes as a junior in 2018, becoming the first Lake View player in 20 years to earn All-State honors.

“Sometimes he has quiet quarters in the game because they don’t really go to his side; but when they do, he tends to find the ball,” Guevara said.

Espinosa occasionally plays wide receiver, and the coach said he will man the position more this upcoming season.

“This year he’ll play a little more just to give him more exposure because he can play both sides of the ball,” he said. 

The coach added that teams adjusting their passing games on account of Espinosa is a nod to his work ethic and that the defensive back has a solid influence on his teammates.

“He gets along great with those kids,” he said. “He brings a ‘no quit’ attitude … kids watch him, and he makes it look easy. He never complains. He’ll be on the scout team if he needs to. He challenges his teammates.”

Espinosa also brings a sense of confidence that would make NFL cornerback Richard Sherman proud.

“He brings a lot of confidence to his game, but he keeps it within the boundaries,” Guevara said.

Lake View finished 2018 with a 3-12 mark but several losses were close, and the Chiefs still garnered a playoff berth.

The Chiefs open the season at home against Lamesa High on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.