Southside Football Preview

Published 3:47 pm Friday, August 17, 2018

2018 is a year of change for Southside. Traditionally a wing-T offense under head coach Jeff Carrow, the Seahawks are modifying their offense and will be running out of pistol and shotgun sets as well. Gone is also the four-man defensive front used so often by Southside, replaced by a 3-4 alignment.

There is also a change in the faces suiting up for Southside. 21 seniors graduated, leaving only five returning starters. That means players like Jonquil Haywood will be leaned upon heavily this season. Haywood is the only running back and defensive back returning with any considerable playing experience and he will be looked at to be a big contributor at both positions.

On the defensive side of the ball, the defensive line is the most experienced unit and will be looked at to help carry the defense. Roberto Tello, Iverson Speller and Colby Curlings will be needed to clog things up in the middle so Southside’s young linebackers and defensive backs can fly around and make plays.

This is a very young and inexperienced Southside team this year. The coaches are trying to make sure the Seahawks are constantly growing and improving, but the question remains whether the team will mature quickly enough to make the post season in a tough conference.



COLORS: Navy, teal, white


CONFERENCE: 1A Coastal Plains

HEAD COACH: Jeff Carrow (at Southside and overall: 42-26)

STAFF: Andrea Quinerly (defensive coordinator, assistant head coach), Kam Rouse (OL, JV offensive coordinator), Davelle Whitney (DB, JV defensive coordinator), David Dixon (LB), Johnny Sullivan (DL), Kenneth Grantham (QB), Stanley Dixon (WR), Sean White (athletic director, stats), Charlie Clark (head manager), Otis Harrell (EMT), Sam Williams (EMT).

RETURNING STARTERS: 5 offense, 0 defense


PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB/CB Jonquil Haywood, QB Will Warren, OL/DT Colby Curlings, WR/LB Hunter Tyler, RB/LB Jamari Nelson.



3: The number of returning starters on Southside’s offensive line, the most of any position group. The Seahawks will rely heavily on its offensive line this season, as it is the most experienced group and will be crucial to establish the run game.




Freshmen Keywon Campbell and Shantez Clark are starting at inside linebacker right out of the gate. Described by defensive coordinator Andrea Quinerly as “high motor guys”, the duo has surprised the Southside coaching staff with how quickly they picked things up.



  1. Once again, Southside will be reliant on the running game to move the ball. As the running back with the most experience, Jonquil Haywood will be looked at to carry the load. But Haywood is also the only defensive back with meaningful experience, meaning he will be on the field a lot. Which running back will step up and help share the load with Haywood?
  2. With a pair of receivers in Sion Kinlaw and Hunter Tyler who are both at least 6 foot 2, Southside may use Will Warren’s arm to air it out more than the Seahawks have in the past.
  3. Junior Jamari Nelson had a great sophomore year as a linebacker, finishing with the second-most tackles on the team, and was set to be the leader of the defense this year. But he went down with a broken leg during the summer. It looks like Nelson will be back by midseason, but how quickly can he get up to speed and back to making the same impact?



“We want to focus on the small things so the big things become easier…As long as they keep growing and keep being coachable one game at a time, one practice at a time, one day at a time, we’re going to be pleased as coaches…We focus a lot on being a family. We say it everyday. We expect them to be able to grow and buy in to the whole team concept and that will be huge for us, especially on a younger team like this,” Southside head coach Jeff Carrow said.





Will Warren is back as signal caller for the Southside offense, giving the Seahawks a returning starter at quarterback for the first time since 2014. A multiple sport athlete, Warren brings some athleticism and scrambling ability, as well as experience and improved arm strength to the table. Head coach Jeff Carrow says sophomore backup quarterback Hundley Stallings is everything a coach wants in a young quarterback. Stallings is quickly picking up the offense and will play at least one series every game.



The Seahawks will rely heavily on their offensive line this year, as three of their five returning starters belong to the unit, in Colby Curlings, Dequan Wiggins and Davis Porter. Curlings, considered by his coaches as the team’s best overall offensive lineman, will play at left tackle after starting at center last season. The 6-foot-1, 260-pound junior has impressed the Southside coaching staff with his ability to move for a bigger guy after working on his footwork in the offseason. Wiggins, who Carrow called the strongest kid in school, will help carve out running lanes at right guard, while Porter will play at center. With his 6-foot-4, 317-pound frame, Roberto Tello can prove to be an asset on the line for Southside and sophomore Peyton Twitty looks ready to contribute after impressing in the two preseason scrimmages.



Once again the Seahawks’ offense will be based on the running game, but with a modified look. Having used the wing-T offense during Carrow’s tenure as head coach, Southside will switch things up by utilizing some pistol and shotgun formations this year. As the running back with the most experience, Jonquil Haywood will be heavily relied upon. Moved to the “B-back” position in the new pistol/wing-T hybrid offense from wingback, Haywood has impressed his coaches with his vision and toughness running between the tackles. Aeron Wright, Hayden Mayo, Jaheem Carter, Keywon Campbell, Chris Brinkley and Davieon Carter will provide depth in the ground game.



Not only does Southside have both an experienced quarterback and a young up-and-comer to move the ball through the air, it also has a pair of big targets to make it happen. 6-foot-2 Sion Kinlaw’s crisp route running and big body could see him become a go-to target for Warren. Moved out wide from tight end, 6-foot-4 Hunter Tyler’s sure hands will make him a reliable target in 2018. Described as the team’s best route runner, Richard Shavender is a smaller, quicker receiver like Southside has traditionally had.



The Seahawks won’t use utilize tight ends as much in their modified offense this year. But when they do, expect to see Tyler slide back into his old position. Davieon McCraw will also line up at tight end, but will provide more of a blocking presence for Southside.



As the defensive position group with the most experience, it was the defensive line that was the team’s best position group in preseason, despite changing to a 3-man defensive line from a four-man front. Roberto Tello at nose guard, and Iverson Speller and Colby Curlings at defensive tackle have done a great job adjusting to their new roles. They won’t have flashy numbers or gaudy sack totals, but the defensive line’s ability to clog up lanes and do the dirty work will be crucial to the defense’s success.



The Southside coaches look at the linebacker position as the team’s biggest challenge, but also the unit they’re most excited about. Two freshmen, Keywon Campbell and Shantez Clark, will start at inside linebacker and both bring a high motor to the position, covering lots of ground. Richard Shavender and Jaheem Carter will man the outside linebacker spots, with Carter filling in for the injured Jamari Nelson. Nelson finished with the second-most tackles on the team last year as a sophomore and will provide a boost to the defense when he returns from injury.


One of the position groups with the least amount of experience, the secondary will lean on Jonquil Haywood for veteran leadership. The senior will play cornerback, which he received playing time at last year. Sophomore Aeron Wright will partner Haywood as the other corner. Sophomore Davieon Carter and junior D’Angelo Gracy will line up at safety. While the defensive backs lack experience, they make up for it in speed and athleticism. With Southside’s reliance on Haywood in the running game, the senior won’t play every down at cornerback to preserve his energy. This will test the Seahawks’ depth in the secondary.



After missing last season through injury, Luke Matthews returns as kicker. The senior, who also plays soccer for Southside, gives the Seahawks a weapon in the kicking game, which can be a rarity in high school football. Will Warren will serve as punter, giving Southside an option for fake punts with his arm and running ability. Jonquil Haywood, Jaheem Carter and Aeron Wright will be looked at to use their athleticism to make plays in kick returns and punt returns.