“Experienced” Northside secondary hoping to help guide defense

Published 3:20 pm Thursday, August 8, 2019

PINETOWN — As Northside prepares to take on a different opponent in jamboree type scrimmages on Saturday morning. The secondary was a talking point at the end of practice. A deep and experienced bunch will take the field this year according to head coach Keith Boyd.

Boyd is relying on his experienced group of defensive backs and linemen to help guide a young linebacker group.

“That’s one place we’re deep. Every guy that has played back there, is (returning) this year. So we have a lot of experience, senior heavy with a few juniors that had to play as sophomore,” Boyd said. “So, we feel real good about the back end of our defense. We feel like with the experience on the front and experience behind them, they’ll be able to bring those younger guys along at the second level.”

Senior safety Samuel Holland has been at Northside since his sophomore year and has seen quite a bit of time in the secondary at the varsity level already.

“I moved here and started playing safety ever since sophomore year,” Holland said. “We look good, we have a lot of speed. We’re not getting beat deep at corner because we got James (Gorham) and Tyler Modlin. But, me and Payton (Woolard), we’re smart, we know where to be and what to do and all the formations.”

The juniors, Modlin and Gorham will line up on opposite sides of the field at corner this season. Seniors Christopher Martin, Ben Ridgewell and Antonio Brooks will potentially see some time in the secondary this season, as well.

“Really, I just care about this team and getting a bunch of wins this year,” Martin said about his goals for the season.

Last year, the Northside defense picked off six passes and recovered 11 fumbles on the season. The Panther’s secondary is looking to improve those numbers in the 2019 campaign.

“I’m trying to get at least two interceptions this year,” Holland said.

The senior group is ready to get embark on another season, and it all gets started with a couple of jamboree type scrimmages on Saturday and next Wednesday.

Saturday, the Panthers will travel to North Pitt high school to play them amongst other teams starting at 10 a.m. On Wednesday of next week, Northside will host the jamboree with Southside, Bertie, Pamlico County, Plymouth/Washington County and Bear Grass Charter School. Wednesday’s jamboree will begin promptly at 4 p.m.