2012 High School Football Preview: Yellow Jackets buzzing with anticipation

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By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent

Normally, the offensive line gets very little mention, but Glencoe High football coach Lee Ozmint said that the trenches should be the Yellow Jackets’ strength, with several “seasoned” linemen returning.

That’s not true of most slots, as graduation took a heavy toll at GHS.

Ozmint will have seniors Scott Bradley, A.T Mitchell, Cameron Lancaster, Tyler Johnson and junior Andrew Pentecost at his disposal.

“There’s a lot of experience and talent in that group,” Ozmint said.

Bradley will double up on the defensive side.

“It’s a day-to-day struggle, trying to improve as a team,” Ozmint said. “But they work hard and continue to focus on improving.”

Ozmint is starting his seventh season as head coach of the Yellow Jackets.

In that time, Glencoe has gone 42-24 including last year’s 9-3 mark. The Yellow Jackets were only one point from going to the state quarterfinals in 2011, losing 21-20 to Lauderdale County. It also marked the third consecutive playoff appearance and third straight year to win a first-round game.

Sophomore Hunter Nunnelly will get his first start at quarterback.

“He’s got a good, strong arm and can run,” Ozmint said. “He’s a very talented young man.”

Another sophomore, Thomas Ozmint, son of the coach, will line up at running back. Senior Daniel Otwell will be the thunder to Thomas Ozmint’s lightning. Otwell is a power runner that is able to break off a big play as well, while Thomas Ozmint is a speedy, slasher-type back. Both can catch the ball out of the backfield, too.

Senior Austin Hancock is a returning receiver who is a legitimate deep threat. Daylon Freeman played a lot last year at the position but did not start.

“Freeman is the type who can catch the ball if it gets anywhere near him,” Lee Ozmint said.

Both Austin and Freeman will play cornerback, also.

The rotation of linebacking corps most likely will not be settled by the start of the season. Otwell, sophomore Mason Brown and freshmanWill Parker lead the chase, but time will tell. Parker is a transfer from Alexandria.

Thomas Ozmint, senior Dalton Reid, junior Houston Word and freshman Pace Ozmint, round out the defensive backfield.

Senior Justin Martin returns on the defensive line, with sophomores Bradley, Luke Mackey and Tyler Johnson vying for the other spots. Seniors Dalton Gowens and Blake Christian will play defensive end.

Last season, Christian made the 3A All-State Honorable Mention team after coming up with 12 sacks and 46 tackles, including 19 for losses. Martin had 42 tackles in ’11.

The entire line should also be strength, according to Lee Ozmint.

Otwell will punt, while sophomore Joseph Bright will do the place-kicking.

“He’s a kicker in every sense of the word,” Lee Ozmint said of Bright. “He pays attention to detail and will be one of the most improved players on the team this year.”

Lee Ozmint feels that almost every squad in Class 3A, Region 5 could legitimately be called a playoff team, but there is only space for four.

“Piedmont will be the best team,” he said. “But with Weaver, Susan Moore, White Plains, Saks, Cleveland and Ashville in the mix, this could be the toughest region in 3A. There are at least six playoff-caliber teams in the region.”

Assistant coaches are Will Hill, Richard Johnson, Charlie Robertson, Ryan Barkley, Brett Yancey, Wes Weems, Tommy Stanley, Skylar Deerman and Chris Sanders.

2012 schedule

Aug. 31 – @Westbrook

Sept. 7 – Weaver*

Sept. 14  – @Piedmont*

Sept. 21 – White Plains*

Sept. 28 – @Hokes Bluff

Oct. 5  – Saks*

Oct. 12 – @Cleveland*

Oct. 19  – Susan Moore*

Oct. 26  – @Ashville*

Nov. 1 – Etowah

*Region game

2011 results

Glencoe 42, White Plains 10

   Glencoe 45, Penn. 0

   Glencoe 7, Sand Rock 6

   Glencoe 14, Weaver 7

   Piedmont 28, Glencoe 17

   Saks 24, Glencoe 14

   Glencoe 49, Ashville 0

   Glencoe 20, Hokes Bluff 0

   Glencoe 20, Susan Moore 10

   Glencoe 28, Douglas 7

   Glencoe 13, Sylvania 7

   Lauderdale Co. 21, Glencoe 20

 

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