Southside coaches have high expectations for defensive line

Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2019

CHOCOWINITY —Last year’s Southside Seahawk defense was extremely young. At one point, they trotted out nine underclassmen out of the 11 starters. That won’t be the case for the Seahawks this season, especially at the defensive line position.

With a more experienced group, Andre Quinerly is expecting big things from his defensive line this year.

FOCUS: Southside’s JV lineman KJ Tatum eyes the sled right before the whistle at summer practice on Tuesday morning. (MItchell Thomas)

“We expect our linemen to play hard and do a lot of dirty work. They need to be aggressive and fight with everything they’ve got,” Quinerly said. “I’m really looking for Quinte Peele and Rolando ‘Boogie’ Cariago to be two of our better defensive players. I have big expectations for all of them, but I’m looking for those two to step up. They showed a lot of promise at the end of last season.”

Another breakout player on the defense will be Iverson Speller. He will likely spend time on both sides of the ball this year on the offensive line, as well.

“I want to be a leader. I want to be the tackle leader and the vocal leader,” Speller said about the upcoming season. “I’m trying to get my bench (press) to at least 300, squat 500, and I want to clean 315 (before the season starts).”

Quinerly claims he runs his defense differently than anybody else in the state of North Carolina.

“We run a 4-3 (defense), but it’s more like a multiple 4-3. So we might run a 4-3 cover two on one play, keep the same personnel and then run a 5-2 in man coverage. We’ll do looping and stunting, zone blitzing, and we try to do it as much as we can,” Quinerly said.

Speller enjoys playing on a defense that showcases different looks.

“I love it. It confuses the offense, and they don’t really know what to do,” Speller said.

Turnovers are perhaps the biggest factor in any game. Quinerly says he wants his team to have at least two per game this season.

“Our goal this year defensively — we came up with this goal together, we want to put 11 people on the football every play. We call it a 7-second blowout. Tell them to give it everything they’ve got, and go as hard as you can for seven seconds,” Quinerly said. “Ultimately, our goal is turnovers. We want to take the ball away. We got 11 games on the schedule, so, anything over 22 (turnovers) would be great.”

Peele, the senior, says he wants to do all the right things this season, and go undefeated with a state championship ring.

“I’m a senior, so I’m going to do everything the coaches say. Go hard, make sure I do my job right and give 100%. I like finding different ways to get to the ball. I love playing defensive end, that’s my position right there,” Peele said. “We’re not trying to take any L’s. Undefeated.”