TERRY PARKER BRAVES (6A- 3)
2013 RECORD: 3-7
THE COACH: Randy Glass
THE PLAYERS: Marlon Clarkson (Jr., WR), Derrian Hall (So.,
WR), Kerry Hardine (Jr., OL), Erik Hill (So., QB), Gejuan Keith
(Sr., TE/DE), Dwayne Lee (Jr., WR), Aquana McCalop (Jr., LB-QB), Jordan Rivers (Jr., WR), Nick Woodard (So., OL)
THE WORD: The Braves had a very good defense last year,
ranking 12th in the area in yards allowed per game (213.5).
In fact, seven of the 10 playoff-eligible teams in front of
Parker made the postseason and every one of them had six
wins or better. That puts the spotlight on the offense, where
Parker must improve. The Braves are looking for a boost at
running back, where there will be all new faces. And they
need to find an answer at quarterback. McCalop was a part-time player under center last year ( 10 of 16, 163 yards), but
Hill could be a surprise at that position.
CONQUERORS (3A- 1)
2013 RECORD: 13-1
THE COACH: Verlon Dorminey
THE PLAYERS: Victor Alexander (Sr., LB), Chris Barr (Sr., WR/
DB), Jalin Buie (Jr., RB), Deion Eakins (Sr., OL), Austin Gifford
(Jr., G), Javon Hagan (Sr., SS/OLB), T.J. Jackson (Sr., G/DL),
Tyreke Johnson (Fr., SS), Rasheed Martin (So., RB), Kendrick
Norton (Sr., G/DL), Andre Smith (Sr., LB), Kevin Toliver II (Sr.,
DB), Hunter Tomlin (Sr., P/LB), James Washington (So., G/C)
THE WORD: The Conquerors go into the season expecting a
state championship and it will be a colossal letdown if they
don’t deliver. That’s the reality of being the defending state
champion. Trinity has one of the most highly touted defensive
units in area history. All three linebackers are committed or
hold offers from FBS programs and ditto on the secondary.
The defense allowed just 160.2 yards per game in the regular
season while playing a brutal schedule. The big question is on
offense, where Trinity will have to find a quarterback without
burdening safety Toliver with the chores like it did at times last
year. Buie is a threat to go the distance whenever he touches
the ball, yet Trinity’s offense still doesn’t have the same level
of intimidation as its defense.
FIGHTING CHRISTIANS (2A- 2)
2013 RECORD: 9-3
THE COACH: David Penland III
THE PLAYERS: Otis Anderson (So., RB), Bryan Brooks (Jr., WR/
DB), Josh Coleman (Sr., DE/OL), Toni Dedsini (Sr., OL/DL),
Brian Jackson (Sr., OL), Ke-shan Pennamon (Jr., RB/DB), Noah
Powell (Sr., RB), Chris Riddle (Sr., QB), David Trigg (Sr., OL/DL)
THE WORD: The defense of its state championship came up
short in 2013 and it won’t be much easier this year. University Christian has been afforded the luxury of a physical,
mauling offensive line in each of Penland’s two seasons.
That changes radically this year. While there is some experience returning, it’s a major rebuild on that line. Pennamon
(436 yards, five TDs rushing) is an explosive back and will
have to assume a greater role out of the backfield with the
transfer of two-year starter Hussein Howe. With transfer
quarterback Riddle (Ponte Vedra Beach Nease in 2013)
healthy from a broken leg that ended his season last year,
U.C. is going to throw the ball quite a bit more. Now, the big
assignment is giving Riddle time in the pocket.
WEST NASSAU WARRIORS (4A- 3)
2013 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Rickey Armstrong
THE PLAYERS: Tison Crews (Sr., FB/DE), Garrett Delano (Sr.,
WR), Michael Dudzinski (Sr., LB), Lee McCall (Jr., OL), Austin
Painter (So., LB), Colton Paliana (Sr., QB), Remington Rhoden (Sr., OL/DL), Cody Temple (Sr., OL/DL)
THE WORD: There’s a new coach in Armstrong and a big
rebuilding task for the Warriors. West Nassau lost a whopping 25 seniors, many of those three- and four-year players.
Paliana (228 passing yards, four TDs) split time at St. Johns
Creekside last year and transferred. He can be a major asset for the Warriors, especially working behind a somewhat
experienced line. The bottom line for West Nassau, though,
is how well its young players perform. Quite a few part-time
players from 2013 are going to be starters this year banging helmets with district foes like Raines and Bolles. That’s
daunting. Competing for a playoff berth will be a stretch, but
settling in as a solid No. 3 is doable.
WESTSIDE WOLVERINES (5A- 3)
2013 RECORD: 1-9
THE COACH: Rodney Dubose
THE PLAYERS: Jacari Benton (Jr., WR), Javon Davis (So., WR/
DB), Amari Dubose (Jr., QB), Montavis Cogdell (Sr., RB), Dale
George (So., WR/DB), Darius Hall (Sr., LB), Micah Jasper (Sr.,
OL), Malchus Jenkins (Sr., DE/LB), Javon Law (Sr., OL), Anthony Medlock (Jr., OL), Michael Olak (Jr., OL), Sedrick Parker
(Sr., WR/DB), Mark Proctor (Jr., S), Darius Singletary (Sr., LB)
THE WORD: Coach Dubose looked at last season, his first
with the team, as the ground floor on a three-year building
process. The Wolverines had a school name and mascot
change (from Forrest Rebels) and hope to also change their
football fortunes. The meat of this team is underclassmen,
hence the swing-for-the-fences mentality. But Amari Dubose
returns under center and Cogdell could wind up as a major
college football signee. The offensive line is a major building
AS THE DIRECTOR OF FALL PRODUCT FOR
Rawlings Sporting Goods Co., Ryan Farrar is tasked
with providing football players with the lightest
performing helmet on the market. Farrar knows that
football players don’t want to feel constricted by their
helmets. While they’re on the field, football players
don’t want to feel their helmets at all.
Farrar, a former baseball player at Missouri
Baptist University, feels his team at Rawlings
achieved its goal of providing the lightest performing helmet on the market for the fall season. He
recently shared his thoughts on the new product
line with FNF Magazine.
WHAT EXCITES YOU MOST ABOU T THIS PRODUCT LINE?
It launched this spring. It’s the NRG Tachyon
football helmet. We’re very excited about the
product. We’ve tested it on the field in the NFL and
NCAA as well as high school. The initial feedback
has been positive.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE HELMET
FROM PREVIOUS RAWLINGS MODELS?
We stuck with the same strategy of creating a
lighter-weight, lower-profile, comfortable helmet.
We just received a five-star rating in the 2014 Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings.
This helmet has three main technologies. The
first is the AC2 layer, which stands for active
compression cores. We’ve integrated cores into
the padding system, which allow the helmet to
perform at different temperature levels without
The second technology is the custom comfort cushioning. The cushioning is inflated against the shell.
All other helmets inflate against the head. Those
helmets lose the contact surface area when inflated.
The last technology is the heat exchange. We take
pride in the fact that all of our helmets provide ventilation in the shell. The vents are not blocked by padding; there’s a path for air to exit through the shell.
ARE THOSE ALL NEW TECHNOLOGIES?
Heat exchange has been around for a couple of
years, but there is more surface area of vents in the
helmet. The two other technologies are brand new.
HOW DID YOU DETERMINE THAT THE HEL-ME T NEEDED TO IMPROVE IN THOSE AREAS?
We talk to all different players. We go into NFL
locker rooms to talk to equipment managers. We
talk to a lot of high school players about the cosmetic fit and feel.
ISN’T IT DIFFICULT TO CATER TO THE
TYPICAL ATHLETE’S DESIRE TO WEAR A LIGHT
HELMET WHILE ALSO MAINTAINING A HIGH
STANDARD FOR SAFET Y?
That’s definitely the hardest thing to do. If a helmet is not comfortable or too big, nobody is going to
wear it. The Tachyon is the perfect storm helmet. It
gives the performance players need at a five-star
rated level, and we’ve reduced the weight of the
helmet. – DAN GU T TENPLAN
block as nearly all of the starters are back. The big test will
come on the defensive side of the ball as most of this eight-team district can score plenty of points. However, the Wolverines have the talent to slow those teams down this year.
WOLFSON WOLFPACK (5A- 3)
2013 RECORD: 2-8
THE COACH: Tom Williams
THE PLAYERS: Lionell Bost (Jr., WR), Tommy Collins (Sr., WR),
Titus Curry (So., LB), Tyre Curry (Jr., LB), Armonda Davis (Sr.,
WR), Malik Dudley (Jr., WR), Deangeles Harris (Jr., DL), Junt-wan Johnson (Jr., ATH), Tysheem Meyers (Jr., DL), Antonio
Owens (Sr., RB), Torey Reid (So., ATH), James Sasser (So.,
ATH), Keon Wise (Jr., QB), Jaquan Wright (Sr., OL)
THE WORD: The big change for the Wolfpack comes in leadership with former Yale head coach Williams taking the reins
early in spring practice. He’s the seventh head coach at
Wolfson since 2001. The Wolfpack is seeking its first season above .500 since 2004 and the cupboard is certainly
not bare at the skill positions. Collins, Davis and Owens are
Wolfson’s big names on the offensive side of the ball and
they can make things happen. The big challenge is getting
the offensive line up and running. One player to keep an eye
on is QB Wise, a transfer from Jacksonville First Coast. He’ll
have plenty of targets.
YULEE HORNETS (5A- 3)
2013 RECORD: 7-4
THE COACH: Bobby Ramsay
THE PLAYERS: Jacob Acklin (Jr., RB), R. J. Adams (Jr., DB), Josh
Allen (Jr., DE), Christian Anderson (Sr., DB), Dylan Basham
(Sr., QB), Dennis Borregine (Jr., LB), Ironne Coley (Jr., ATH),
Nathan Hoyle (Jr., OL), Brad Kite (Sr., OL), Jed Marsh (Sr.,
DL), Dante Owens (Sr., DL), Jamari Peacock (So., RB), Dalton
Turner (Sr., OL), Brody Vinson (Jr., QB), Zack Walker (Jr., OL)
THE WORD: The Hornets have had a solid defense for years,
although it was somewhat buried underneath the gaudy
rushing numbers of Derrick Henry. That defense will still be
the backbone of this team, although it needs to get some
help from the offense. The big change needs to be the ability
to stretch the field as Yulee needs to develop its passing.
Yulee’s offense scared no one in 2013 because it had no
big-play threat. A maturing Peacock (6-foot-0, 228 pounds)
may remind some of Henry, but it will be the development of
the passing game that Yulee needs in order to take the next
step forward in a tough district.