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A very young and inexperienced Blackwell football team didnâ€™t win any of their nine games on their field a year ago, though they did get a victory by forfeit.
But almost everyone is back, and the participation rate is high this season, with 21 of the 24 eligible boys signing up. Four of them â€” Ted Chambliss, Kaleb Edwards, Jayden Jones and Mason Magness â€” were all-district in 2011.
Blackwellâ€™s Veer offense will be led by quarterback Ethan Andrews, with Jones at tailback and Edwards at fullback. The ends will be Cody Shamblin, Chase Sorrells and Magness, with Chambliss and Trustan Cox handling duties at center and Mark Monroe and Brian Mink at guard.
The Hornets will play a 3-3 defense this season, according to new Blackwell coach Clint Lowry, who was hired recently to replace Nathan Hayes after coaching at Rising Star the past three years.
Hayes, who had been at Blackwell for the past five seasons, left to become the head coach at Crowell.
Lowry said Chambliss, Monroe, Shamblin and Sorrells will all get playing time at defensive end starting this season while Cox and Mink will compete at nose guard. Jones is at linebacker and Edwards, Andrews and Magness will be competing for playing time at cornerback.
Lowry is hoping the 2012 team can get pick up some wins during the first part of the season to help build its confidence for later on.
â€śIâ€™m hoping they can get some wins under their belt,â€ť said Lowry. â€śLast year was hard for them, but theyâ€™re quick learners and work hard. A little success early will go a long way toward determining how we finish the season.â€ť
Lowry also has two new assistants, Brooks Boynton and Don Jones. Boynton is making a short move after coaching at Highland the past few years. â€śWeâ€™ve been very pleased with how the kids have responded to us in the short time weâ€™ve been here,â€ť Lowry said.
â€śWeâ€™ve got the best of both worlds here. Weâ€™ve got experience and weâ€™ve also got youth,â€ť the coach said.
â€śSo far, the older guys have taken the younger ones under their wing and shown them the ropes. Weâ€™re going to get them stronger, and if they all keep working hard, I think that theyâ€™re going to surprise some people.
â€śIâ€™m really excited about this season.â€ť