Seahawks plan on sustaining momentum

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

There’s plenty of reasons for optimism as Southside prepares to build on last year’s 11-2 record and third-round playoff appearance.

The part that still stings a little is that both losses were to county and conference rival Northside, and the two teams will battle it out for first place again this fall.

“I hope that’s the case, but we will have company,” coach Jeff Carrow said. “Everybody in our league is better, so putting too much emphasis on the Northside game will get us in trouble in a hurry. Every game counts the same and we will approach it that way.”

Running back Kenjray Coffield took his talents to Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh after gaining 1,451 yards and scoring 22 touchdowns and several other seniors have to be replaced.

“Our numbers are up (around 50 total) which allows us to have a JV team again and our kids worked hard during the summer. All signs point to a successful season, but we know we have to keep working to make it happen.”

Quarterback: Senior Walker Hill returns for his second year as the starter. He was 26-48 with six touchdown passes and six interceptions in the Seahawks run-oriented attack last year. A leader by example, Carrow has watched Hill become more vocal during pre-season drills.

“The kids listen when he talks and he’s done better with that this year,” Carrow said. “He knows our plays and is good at reading how the game is going. His footwork is better on his handoffs and passes and he’s picked up our new plays quickly.

Running Backs: Junior Tequon (Tater) Moore begins his third year in the backfield in more of a feature after Coffield’s departure. Senior Darren (DJ) Joyner will see his share of the carries as well. 6’0 230 lb. freshman Brian Salinas will start at fullback, while Jacob Taylor, Alex Moore and Michael Warren will see time as well. “He (Salinas) is a big kid who has picked things up quickly,” Carrow said. “He’s a solid blocker and tough to bring down and that’s what we need from our fullback.”

Receivers: Manvonte (Bosch) DeLoach returns after catching five passes (three for touchdowns) last year. Nolan Dixon will join him. “Bosch is tough to defend because he’s long at 6’4 and can jump,” Carrow said.

Offensive Line: Seniors Elyjaih Baldwin and Xavier Ham will line up at tackle, with Tyon Warren, Chris Fleming and Elgin Stilley competing for time at guard.  Noah Smith and Orlando Woolard will see time at center. Other linemen include Amoz Gardner, Marquez Davis and Mckyle Sastre.

“We feel really good about that group,” Carrow said. We have some experience while breaking in some new guys.”

Defensive Line: Basically, the same group will play on the defensive line, depending on the situation. Down and distance plus other factors will determine the lineup. “These guys are used to going both ways, so depth shouldn’t be a problem,” Carrow said. “We have a good rotation as long as everyone stays healthy.”

Linebackers: Salinas, Ham, Tater Moore and Lucas Cutler will line up in various spots along with some listed as defensive linemen. “We’ll have many different fronts throughout the year,” Carrow said. “Whose out there in what spot depends on the situation.

Defensive Backfield: Nolan Dixon, Joyner, Alex Moore and Tater Moore will see action at cornerback while DeLoach and Warren will be the safeties. DeLoach used his height and length to intercept nine passes last year.

Special Teams: Gabe Matthews and Jose Ramos will handle the kicking duties, while Tater Moore or Cutler will handle the punting.