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Special season ahead for FHS football?


Three of Farragut High School’s best football players sounded off on why the 2005 Admirals are special.

Special based on chemistry, talent and the positive experiences of a successful season last fall when the Admirals learned how to win.

One of those three senior Ads, however, talked about an extremely bitter taste left in his mouth at the end of last season — courtesy of perennial nemesis, the Oak Ridge Wildcats.

"I have a picture in my bathroom right now, it’s a picture of the scoreboard, it says forty-eight to zero," senior linebacker Shane Reveiz said about the thumping his Ads took at ORHS in round two of the Class 5A state playoffs.


"When I look in the mirror I see we got beat forty-eight to zero, and I don’t want that to happen again. And it won’t happen again. … I’ve had that up there since December.

"It’s hard not to look to week ten because I’m so anxious about playing them," Reveiz added about this season’s final regular-season game at Oak Ridge. "That’s one game that I’ve dwelled on for eight months."

As for chemistry, "You’ve seen how many seniors we have, we have a lot of leadership," Reveiz said. "This is the closest group I’ve ever been with. I’ve been playing with these seniors for four years now, and we’re all just really jelling together. … I’m really excited about what we’re going to do this year."

Senior linebacker Tony Manilla said Farragut has a chance "to go all the way because we have big-time players like Reveiz and Jovon Miller. And we just have a great supporting cast. I think this year there’s a lot more team unity than any team I’ve ever been on. … And we have one of the best coaching staffs in the region and the whole state."

After a final 9-3 record in 2004 featuring the program’s first playoff victory since the late 1990s, "Now we know we can get there and we have confidence and we can build on that and hopefully take it to the next level and get that state championship," Manilla said.

Miller, a senior starting safety and wide receiver who may also see extensive time at tailback, said, "We’re all just coming together a lot sooner this year, and we’re all more of a team ’cause we’re working together. We produced a lot more in the off-season."

Although Miller said he preferred runningback to wide receiver, "to help out the team I’ll play anywhere."

TEAM OUTLOOK

"If we stay healthy and build a little depth I think we’ll have a good football team," FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said.

Senior Nick Moore returns as the team’s likely feature back — though Miller provides quality depth. "Nick’s very compact, runs pretty good behind his pads, he’ll hit the line of scrimmage real quick," Courtney said. "Just a tough, solid kid." Sophomore Andre Sterling is expected to add even more quality depth at tailback. Junior Todd Ivey and sophomore Esean Phillips could also contribute.

Fullback will feature a mix of Reveiz, junior Adam Wigren and sophomore Micah Devan. "Three quality fullbacks, they can block and catch real well," Courtney said.

Though Courtney said he was "really concerned" about the offensive line — an area hit hard by graduation — the FHS skipper said they’ve made "a lot of progress."

Led by senior guard Shuan Smith, labeled a "great team leader" by Courtney, the coach added that "eight or nine" linemen should see regular playing time. "Chris Ivey [senior center/guard] is another kid who’s done real well for us."

Others in the mix are junior sMichael Hoag and David Bernard, and sophomores Dylan Young, Brett Courtney and Alex Johnson.

Senior quarterback Tyler Powell (6-foot-6) and junior Michael Lawrence (6-foot-3) are in a neck-and-neck battle for the starting QB job, Courtney said.

"They’ve both got good height, helps them see the field," the coach said. "Both are athletic enough to stay in the pocket or roll out if we need ’em to."

Though Powell started in the Ads’ 7-0 KOC Kickoff Classic victory against South-Doyle, the job may come down to who performs better in a late-week scrimmage.

Miller, seniors Lee Travis, Pedi Hashemian, Marcus Huie and Geoff Courtney, and junior Chris Eggert round out a deep receiving corps.

"Lee’s a good trackster, and he has the speed to [make big plays] and Marcus also has the speed to do that," Courtney said.

Junior Nick Guess is the likely starter at tight end, but senior Chris Williams "will see a lot of playing time," Courtney said.

Defensively, Reveiz and Manilla are expected to add star power side-by-side as inside linebackers. Junior Shane Reveiz and seniors Brandon Besola and Brian Tipton are also a big part of what figures to be the team’s strongest unit overall. In addition, seniors Steven Moon and Spencer Grieco, and sophomore Zach Allen "are battling for two of the slots outside.”

Courtney said he "feels real good" about the defensive line, starting with the "Nitro nose guard" spot, which will feature senior Brent Harkins, Wigren and possibly Smith. Defensive ends, seniors T. J. Ensor and Adam Baxter, are proven performers with lots of experience.

In addition, "Besola can go down if we need it, and [senior] Trent Anderson is another one that can play, even Chris Williams," Courtney said.

In the secondary, "we feel good athletically," Courtney said. In addition to using Miller’s talents at safety, Huie and Travis will round out the starting secondary. Sterling, sophomore Brandon Hylton, Geoff Courtney and junior Jarrod Pitt provide quality depth.

As for special teams, senior Patrick Ladd will be the placekicker and may also punt — though senior Tony Milazzo could take over the punting. Guess will be the long snapper and Geoff Courtney returns as kicking holder.

The Ads open the season at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 26, in Farragut Stadium against perennial Class 4A power Knoxville Central. After hosting Region 2-5A foe Heritage in week two, Friday, Sept. 2, the Ads travel to archrival Bearden for a Sept. 9 showdown in Bearden Stadium. Gametime is set for 7:30 p.m. for all games.

Assistant coaches are Jim Blake, Rusty Partin, Ryan Shoup, Tom Doucette, Scott Tate, Trace Pate, Steve Gordon, Mark Battle, Patrick Cox and Brad Watts.

 

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