Position Breakdown: Southside

Published 5:47 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017


Southside will have a new man under center for the third season in a row. Head coach Jeff Carrow let Will Warren and Grant Jensen battle it out over the summer, but Warren nabbed the starting role early in the preseason. He has an intricate knowledge of Southside’s wing-T offense. He thinks quickly on his feet, and his accuracy may let the Seahawks use their receiver corps to move the ball through the air more this year.


Carrow has lauded senior linemen Aidan Kelley and Teddy Minor for the leadership they’ve displayed in the offseason. They bring a combination of know-how and size that will make them staples on the offensive line. Quinton Vick and Tyler Sparks — upperclassmen standing at 6-foot-3 and 6-foot, respectively — bring the length to make the offensive line versatile enough to run and pass the ball. Robert Tello didn’t see much action during his sophomore campaign last year. If he can take the next step, his 6-foot-4, 289-pound frame can be a difference maker.



The ground game is Southside’s bread and butter. While Carrow hopes to throw the ball more than in the past, don’t expect much of a shift in the wing-T offense. With so many talented backs, the Seahawks will use a similar committee approach as last year. However, they’ll be without Zikijah Crawford and Kyle Hill, who combined for over 42 percent of the carries and over 1,800 yards. They’ll have a good mix of power from the likes of Brandon Sullivan and Trajan Rhome, and finesse from Jonquil Haywood and Amari Peele. Just like last season, any player is liable to erupt on any given Friday.



Not only does Southside have the quarterback to be able to move the ball through the air, they also have capable receivers to make it work. Demetrius Ebron, a senior who caught four passed for 95 yards last season, has some of the best hands in Beaufort County. Fellow senior Cody Modlin had the most receptions (seven) in 2016. Modlin and Ebron caught two touchdowns apiece in 2016. In addition to those standouts, all the running backs will be expected to make grabs out of the backfield.


Hunter Tyler, a 6-foot-4 senior tight end, showed notable improvements last year. He only had four catches for 63 yards last season, but also had a few passes just barely out of his reach. Combine his route-running abilities, length and another year of experience, and he should be an aerial threat over the middle. Senior Syheem Peele will be another player at the position able to bring extra blocking or make a catch over the top.



Even with the loss of an impact lineman in Josh Keyes and the reliable Noah Trogdon, Southside’s defensive front appears to be as deep as ever. Teddy Minor and Quinton Vick led the Seahawks with 9.5 combined sacks last season. Aiden Kelley brings speed and power on the edge. Behind the handful of seniors is a slew of juniors boasting a mix of athleticism and size that are ready to see more time on the field.



Southside is going to have some big shoes to fill after the graduation of top-notch linebacker and team captain Hunter Sparks. His 118 tackles led the team, and he also got in the backfield plenty for 11.5 tackles for loss. Brandon Sullivan, who tallied 52 takedowns in 2016, will be asked to build on an impressive junior year. Trajan Rhome and Tyler Jeter are two other seniors with plenty of experience at the position. They don’t bring the sheer size Sullivan does, but are speedy and able to get to the ball. At 6-foot, 225 pounds, sophomore Connor Kelley may be a player to look out for, too.

Read more: Ebron ready to be all-around threat


Southside will have plenty of talent and leadership in its defensive secondary this season. Demetrius Ebron had 46 tackles — good for fifth best on the team — and three picks last season. His conditioning will be something to watch should he play more snaps on offense this year. Seniors Grant Jensen and David Vines at safety give the Seahawks experienced players in the back. Combine that with the plethora of athletic bodies able to play cornerback and safety, and Southside has plenty of depth. Defensive coordinator Andrea Quinerly may find himself needing to send defensive backs on blitzes more often to make up for the loss of players up front that did well pressuring the quarterback.



Southside has a pair of junior kickers in Santiago Serralde and Luke Matthews. The Seahawks generally opt for 2-point conversions over point-after tries, though. For kick returns, Amari Peele proved two years ago as a sophomore that he’s dynamic on special teams. Carrow and company have a plethora of athletic players they can field for returns.