Indians have new coach, attitude
The Hazlehurst Indians over the past decade have been a fixture in the Class 3A playoff picture and new head coach Randal Montgomery expects that ceiling to only continue to be raised.
“We will work to be successful,” stated first year head coach Montgomery. “After a little hesitation, I saw kids that got on board quick with the expectations we have to take this program even higher.”
Offensively, the skill set the Indians deploy are without heavy hitter Gabriel Gray this year, but boast some impressive returning starters including 1000 yard rusher Demetrius Cain who take the slot back spot in Montgomery’s new spread attack. The 5’11”, 175 lb. bruiser will be called upon to make big plays on both sides of the football. He will joined in the backfield by tailback Aaron Larry who saw marked success last year running the football. Joining those two juniors in the backfield will be junior signal caller Kenny Coleman. Coleman, 6’2”, 165 lb. quarterback will be slinging the football all over the field for the Indians while reigning in a balanced attack for Hazlehurst.
Montgomery was quick to point out where success comes from when he referred to the trenches. “We can only go as far as the line can take us, “ commented Montgomery. The center is junior Peari Cooley while he is flanked by guards Terry Baker and Toriun Samuels who are a junior and sophomore respectively. Samuels anchors the line with his 6’2” 320 lb. frame. Senior Javarious Banks and junior Darian Washington anchor the line from the tackle positions. The wideout spots are handled by sophomore D’Alex Rockingham, sophomore John Bridges, and sophomore Dedrick Reese.
Defensively, Montgomery was quick to point out directives to his defense. “We must run to the football and gang tackle,” stated Montgomery. “Then when we get there, we have to force turnovers.”
Many familiar faces on the defensive side of the ball will come over from offense. The trenches will be handled at the tackle spots by Baker and Samuels. The defensive ends are sophomore Johnkil Skipper and Banks. The linebacker spots are going to be manned by sophomore Freddie Nelson and Cain.
The five man defensive nickel that Montgomery plays will see Bridges at free safety and Larry at rover. The dawg safety will be talented Xavian Thedford while the cornerbacks will be buckled down by Dyculious Reese and Rockingham.
The punting will be done by Thedfore while Dyculious Reese will be the kicker.
“We expect big things at Hazlehurst with of course some time for our kids to adjust,” stated Montgomery. “We want to be balanced and play solid defense. If we do those things, we will go where we need to go.