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|Huntington needs experience|
Don't let the roster fool you. Even with 12 seniors on a team with 18 players, Huntington School still lacks experience.
"We've got seniors who haven't played and others who are in new positions," said Hound coach Chad Harkins.
Harkins led Huntington to its first playoff win since 1988 last year when the Hounds defeated Wayne Academy and Central Hinds before falling to Glenbrook in the semifinals.
"Anytime you can get in extra practice and games after the regular season it helps you," Harkins said. "And it helps to get that experience of competing in the playoffs."
Senior Joey Roberts (5-10, 170) takes over at quarterback.
Junior Jesse Dossett (6-0, 180) backs up Roberts.
"Joey played defense last year," Harkins said. "We just want him to manage the game and get him some experience early throwing the ball under pressure."
Harkins has a big void in the backfield after losing Jody Cottongin, who rushed for 2,011 yards on 204 carries (9.8 yards).
"Last year, Cottongin made things happen," Harkins said. "But the guys we have now can do different things. We've got a lot more speed. We need to get some of these guys in the open field."
In the backfield are senior Jeremy Randall, a transfer from Vidalia whose eligibility is up for public school, and sophomore Antoine Bowie (6-0, 175).
Senior Josh Lee (6-0, 200) is at fullback.
Senior Drew Loomis (5-9, 160), and sophomore Andreas Swanson (5-5, 145) are at the wingback positions.
Senior Tyler PereŽ (6-3, 195) is at wide receiver.
"Tyler caught more passes in our scrimmage against Tensas than he did all last year," Harkins said. "He's got good size to go after the ball and does good things with it."
Seniors Kevin Brown (5-11, 200) and senior Jordan Wilson (6-4, 225) are at tight end.
The offensive line consists of senior Aaron Winborne (5-9, 270), senior Mike Dekerlegand (5-10, 170), senior Brad Thibodeux (5-10, 185), senior Patrick Hailes (6-1, 270) and senior Max Jackson (5-9, 230). Senior Adam Roberts (5-10, 170) and sophomore Walter Jones (6-1, 305) will also see action.
"We've got new guys in there with Patrick and Mike and need them to mesh together and become a cohesive unit," Harkins said.
The defensive line consists of Lee, Thibadeux, Wilson, Jones and Jackson.
"We lost two good ones in Seth Swilley and Chris Carroll," Harkins said. "We're moving Josh Lee to noseguard. We're going to be doing a lot of rotating."
Linebackers are Dekerlegand, Brown and Roberts and Dossett.
"We lost a good one in Dude Harrell," Harkins said. "Kevin did a great job last year and we're moving him to middle linebacker. Dekerlegand is a leader. We're looking for Roberts and Dossett to step up in the other spot.
Defensive backs are Bowie, Loomis, Randall, Swanson, PereŽand Roberts.
"We think we are pretty solid there," Harkins said.
Lee will return as kicker, while Wilson will handle the punting.
Harkins knows all too well about staying healthy after losing Lee during the regular season and Cottongin in the playoffs.
"If we can stay healthy, we should be in good position to make a run in the playoffs," he said. "We have to get through a tough non-district schedule and then win our district games."
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