Q. How would you characterize this year’s team?
A. We return several key contributors from last year’s playoff team. However, we only have four returning starters on offense and three on defense. The fortunate part is we also have four others that gained experience on offense and four more on defense that all received a moderate level of playing time as backups to help ease the transition as they become starters.
Q. What will be the keys to your success?
A. We will need solid play from the QB position, and our OL (several new starters) will need to grow up fast. Defensively, we have to adjust to a new scheme and come ready to play at linebacker every night. Limiting big plays on defense and reducing turnovers on offense is greatly important as well.
Q. Who will be your key leaders on the team?
A. Jamarey Hull (Sr., FB/LB), Dominique Sistrunk (Sr., RB/LB), Chase Humble (Jr., RB/DL), and Matthew Redmond (So., QB/DB).
Q. What are your biggest reasons for optimism?
A. Dominique is such an amazing runner; he allows us to have a sustained running game and gives us a chance to be successful each week. Our defense has more speed on the field than it usually has, and we have some key contributors back on that side of the ball in Jamarey Hull, Daylin Young, and Carson Shepard.
Q. What will keep you up at night?
A. Adjustment to new schemes, big plays, turnovers, and offensive line improvement.
Q. What can you build on from last year?
A. With the graduation of several OL, we will need our OL to grow up fast. Going to the playoffs with several key players out should give us a mental edge.
Q. Any lessons learned from last year?
A. No matter who we are missing, we can still accomplish goals if we pull together as a team.
We must mold quickly as a team. Both lines of scrimmage must play well. Making the playoffs three years in a row for the first time in school history and four out of the last five (first time for that as well) should lead to the belief that we can accomplish anything that we execute and work for.
Photos by Tony Smith