Hines, Seahawks seek victory

Published 6:21 pm Friday, August 22, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — After suffering through an 0-10 season in his first campaign with Southside, Seahawks coach David Hines’ search for his first victory had to be put on hold until 2008.
Now that the new season is here, Hines’ quest for a win begins against the North Duplin Rebels, who fell to Plymouth in last year’s Class 1A state championship game.
Hines would love to get the first win under his belt, but not so much for personal reasons. The Southside skipper said he seeks victory for his young athletes.
In fairness to Hines, he got off to a late start with the Seahawks last year. While other teams were doing passing drills throughout the summer, Hines didn’t get to work with his squad until the second official day of practice.
Now that he has been around the block, he, the players and the fans expect improvement.
Hines said his team has been working hard to not repeat the woes of last year.
The path to a successful season begins in practice, and Hines said his players have demonstrated the will to win, and he knows leadership is the strength of his team.
According to Hines, seniors Cody Fulford, Javier Lozano and Kevin Sparks have stepped up and emerged as strong team leaders this summer.
Sparks, the team’s quarterback, will need to have a solid season in order for Hines’ veer attack to put up points.
Sparks will be handing off the ball to a trio of backs in Dash Spruill, Terrence Whindley and sophomore Marcus O’Neil.
The three backs are capable of making things happen, as both Spruill and Whindley are good athletes, and O’Neil has been impressive in camp.
Defensively, Hines said he will use a three-man front for his base defense, and will count on junior lineman Teon Aaron, linebacker Geofrey Weston and O’Neill to help shut down the opposing offense.
Hines said he wants his defense to emulate his Week 1 counterpart’s.
The Seahawks will have no choice but to come together as a unit, as they prepare to stop Dublin’s spread-gun offense, which gave Plymouth a real tough time in the second half of the 1-A title game.
X’s and O’s aside, Hines said the key to this year’s team will be how it handles adversity.
Northside looking for more offense in ‘08
By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — Conditioning and an improvement in offensive production are two points of emphasis for Northside in 2008.
The Panthers will feature six two-way starters this season as they try to improve upon an offense that engineered just 15 points per game for a team that finished 3-8 in 2007.
The Panthers’ double wing offense will return five starters, including leading rusher D.J. Satterthwaite and wing back Dakuan Mackey. They’ve also got two solid lineman returning in center Thack Culter and left tackle, along with wide receiver Jared Adams.
The biggest change for the Panthers will be at quarterback, where sophomore Darius Murray will make his first start of the season on Friday.
Murray is a talented runner and has shown the ability to throw the ball this summer. Boyd is expecting big things from the first-year starter.
Some of the other young guys who could make an impact on the Panthers’ offense are right tackle Tony Mendoza and left Brandon Ussery.
Satterthwaite could have another big year for the Panthers. Northside features a grind it out rushing attack and Satterthwaite will get a lot of touches.
Boyd also hopes that his defense will be much improved in 2008. Last season, Northside gave up more than 32 points per contest.
The defense will return four starters - middle linebacker Trent Midgette, defensive end Michael Chase, cornerback Dee Martin and safety TaMichael Tange.
The strength of the defensive unit should be the front seven. Chase, Seth Boyd, Tony Medoza and Issiah McCullor will make up a stout defensive line. While the Panthers will have a speedy linebacker corps in Midgette, Bradley Slade and Benji Taylor.
The Panthers will begin their quest to improve upon their 3-8 record last season, when they take on Mattamuskeet tonight in Yeatesville. Game time is 7:30 p.m.