CHATSWORTH — No matter which position he plays, it seems that Chatsworth High's LaRon Buckner is always in a place to make a catch.
Buckner, a 6-foot, 180-pound senior, leads City Section receivers from the region with 43 receptions and 659 yards.
Buckner, who also plays cornerback, leads the area with five interceptions.
"He is just so smooth," Chatsworth Coach Myron Gibford said. "He's not the fastest guy, he just gets to where the ball is."
Buckner is perhaps the biggest symbol of a vastly improved Chatsworth team, which plays at home against Birmingham tonight at 7. After going 2-8 last year, the Chancellors are 3-3, 1-2 in the Northwest Valley Conference.
Like his team, Buckner struggled last season. Although he had one interception and led Chatsworth with 25 receptions for 295 yards and scored three touchdowns, he was never able to showcase his skills.
"Last year was a disappointment," Buckner said. "We all wanted to get respect back for Chatsworth."
Buckner began getting it back for the Chancellors in this season's opener, a 41-0 victory over Reseda, defending City Section 3-A champion.
Buckner was unstoppable, catching 10 passes for 201 yards and scoring two touchdowns. And he hasn't slowed down much since. Buckner has caught at least five passes in every game.
It doesn't seem to matter who's throwing the passes, either. When Ryan Martinez replaced Travis Winn against El Camino Real, Buckner still hauled in seven receptions for 101 yards.
Despite his success at receiver, defense is Buckner's first love. His presence at cornerback helped the Chancellors post three shutouts in their first four games.
"I like the hitting and I have more fun covering receivers," Buckner said. "I like playing receiver, but if I had to play just one, I'd rather be on defense."
Right now, he's doing just fine at both.