2018 senior high football preview

From Issue 1

Flowood, MS — August is upon us, and the Jackson Prep Patriots are on the cusp of their 2018 football campaign. This season is not a normal one for the Patriots, seeing as they have several spots on both sides of the ball to fill before they kick off their season at East Rankin on August 17.

The position that is at the forefront of the coaches minds as they go through practice is the quarterback spot. Chance Lovertich, who passed for over 2200 yards and 32 touchdowns through the air just a year ago has since graduated, leaving the Patriots with a difficult decision to make. The leading candidate for the position is rising senior Alex Gibbs. Gibbs was the starting quarterback for the junior high team his ninth grade year, and he will look to regain a starting position for the Patriots once again for his final season.

Jackson Prep also has to fill other spots on the offensive side of the ball, however, with the number of upperclassmen at their disposal they should be able to score the ball with some ease.

Also, the Patriots are returning not only one of the most explosive running backs in the state but also in the country. Senior Jerrion Ealy, the two-sport Under Armour All American for the Patriots, comes into the season looking to beat his astounding from a year ago. Ealy put up an absurd 2321 all-purpose yards last season, while also scoring 45 total touchdowns.

The offensive star for the Patriots will, however,  not be able to lead the team to their 7th straight state title alone. He will need the help of his defensive counterparts if he wants to earn his 4th straight championship ring.

The Patriots defense has many gaps to fill this season, especially in the teams secondary. The team lost their top three leading tacklers and all four defensive members that recorded more than one interception a year ago.

The loss that will haunt the coaching staff the most, however, may be the transfer of linebacker Hayden Hill who made the switch to nearby public school Northwest Rankin for his final season of eligibility. Hill led Prep in both assisted and solo tackles last year with 121 and 21 respectively.

Though the Patriots have a lot of roles to figure out, it doesn’t seem as if this team is going to back down from the challenge. When asked about the difficulty of replacing last years star-studded defense, rising senior cornerback and wide receiver Nicholas Sanford said, “We obviously lost a lot of talent in the secondary but we feel we have a pretty talented senior group of defensive backs along with a few good underclassmen and we are ready for the challenge ahead.”

Now, the only thing left for the fans to do is to sit back and wait to see if this years team can continue the winning tradition that has become of Jackson Prep Football.