Green Wave hoping for milestone season
It won’t be easy but this season could be a special one for the Green Wave.
A three-year starter at quarterback and the team’s three leading receivers from last year are among the players Summerville has to replace so a lot is riding on how well and fast inexperienced athletes develop.
“We are kind of thin but we have some tough young guys so we are hoping we can teach them and they can pick up the slack,” Green Wave coach John McKissick said. “We have a little more speed than we had last year and we are going to try to have a good mixture between the run and the pass. If we can put enough pressure on the quarterback then I think we will be ok on defense.”
The team has extra motivation this fall because it can help McKissick become the first football coach in history to reach 600 wins. Entering his 61st season at SHS, McKissick needs only six wins to reach the milestone.
The major strength of this year’s squad should be its running backs.
Senior Jerod Tucker and junior Davon Anderson return after combining for more than 1,200 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011. Tucker won the 200-yard dash event at the 2012 Class AAAA state championship meet with a 21.69 time.
Michael Powell and Daniel Smith are also expected to see some time in the offensive backfield. DJ Gaddist is the fastest player on the team, but he is out with a neck injury.
The Wave was counting on returning starters Trey Privette (5-11, 271) and Grant Wactor (6-2, 287) to anchor the offensive line, but Privette is out with a leg injury. However, the team still has good size and some experience up front.
Chandler Hamby (5-9, 222), Jonathan James (6-3, 250), William McArn (6-0, 220), Zack Bailey (6-5, 300) and tight end Sean Smith (6-7, 215) are expected to see a lot of action on the line this year.
Coaches are looking for freshman Sawyer Bridges or junior Darin Smalls to claim the QB position but sophomore David Coccoli is also in the mix.
Sean Smith is a big target for the QBs and McKissick says he has good hands. Others looking to factor into the Wave passing attack include juniors Johnston McCurry and William Luck and seniors Kendall Parker and Tyrone Hayes.
On the defensive side of the ball, Adam Blocker returns after making 136 tackles in 2011, the second most for the team. Jerrod Mathis is back after making 103 tackles last season, but will likely be moved from linebacker to nose guard.
Darrell Smalls and Kyle Kenney also bring varsity experience to the linebacking corps and Mac McCurry will likely step into a bigger role on defense after working out primarily as a backup QB but also some at linebacker last year.
Bryce Robbins (6-0, 215) and LJ Clark (5-10, 230) bring some experience to the defensive line and McKissick says sophomores Matt Powell (5-8, 200) and Kwan Cox (6-1, 210) have stood out there in the preseason.
Darin Smalls was a defensive starter last season so he may play both sides of the ball. He was a shutdown corner in 2011 but this summer he lined up as safety.
Parker Cleveland returns as the Wave’s punter and extra-point kicker and may handle kickoffs this season as well. David Kennedy will provide depth at the kicker position.
McKissick is confident in his team’s kick return ability.
“We should be solid on punt and kickoff returns with Darin Smalls, Johnston McCurry and Michael Powell back there,” he said. “They are all sure handed and know what to do once they have the ball.”
Last year, Summerville finished at 8-5 after being eliminated in the second round of the state playoffs.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org