Mount de Sales is saddled with the task of replacing its top playmakers from the past few years as the Cavaliers get set to begin another season.
Mount de Sales, however, is focused on replacing not so much the players but their production as it plans to lean more on a cross-section of players than a handful of individuals.
With offensive stalwarts Bailey Michael, Keith Farris and Carson Leatherwood having moved on, Mount de Sales, which was 4-6 last year, will look to replace three players who accounted for all but seven of its offensive scores last year.
Enter a new approach for the Cavaliers.
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“We lost about 90 percent of our offensive production to graduation. We have some big holes to fill. We’ve taken a little bit different of an approach,” Mount de Sales head coach Keith Hatcher said. “We feel like we have a little bit more guys that can contribute, maybe not significant playmakers like those guys, but more who can contribute.”
The newcomers to the starting lineup will have some experience laying the path in front of them with plenty of upperclassmen on the offensive line.
“Obviously, you win games up front,” Hatcher said. “Having experienced O-line guys up front who have taken snaps is pretty valuable going into the season.”
Things are so much up in the air at the skill positions that many were not decided entering preseason practice. That includes quarterback, where Tres Hattaway, Pinkney Gilchrist and Addison Hutton are in the running to be the starter.
Hatcher said the starter might not be named in time for the season opener Aug. 28 against Pacelli. Hutton is a senior move-in from Tennessee; Gilchrist has risen through the ranks as the Mount de Sales junior varsity quarterback; and Hattaway played quarterback in middle school before being shifted to receiver. Gilchrist is only one of the three with game experience for Mount de Sales at quarterback. He played sparingly last year, completing 13-of-19 passes for 167 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
“Right now, all three of those guys bring something different to the table,” Hatcher said.
The Cavaliers might be short on experience at the skill positions, but their players are eager for the heat of competition. That group is led at receiver where Hattaway, Jordan Edwards and Nic Allman will be looked to as a means to keep the Cavaliers’ spread offense in rhythm.
That’s a welcome setup for Hattaway, regardless of what end of the passes he ends up on.
“Knowing we have receivers with the capability of making those plays, that is very comforting,” Hattaway said.
In the offensive backfield, Adrian Hardwick will be the leader of a cluster of backs being looked to establish the running game.
“We have a lot to look forward to; we have to replace a lot of the guys who left last year,” Allman said. “It’s definitely hard losing guys like Keith and Carson, but everyone’s stepping up to the challenge.”
ABOUT THE MOUNT DE SALES CAVALIERS
Head coach: Keith Hatcher (4-6 in one season overall and at Mount de Sales).
Assistant coaches: Gary Yates (offensive coordinator); Bubba Pool (wide receivers); Duane Hunter (offensive line); Hunter McKay (wide receivers); John Garret Abernathy (running backs); Carston Franklin (defensive backs); Gerdine Dawson (defensive line); Jay Sanders (linebackers); Jordan Green (outside linebackers).
Offensive scheme: Spread.
Defensive scheme: 3-4.
2014 record: 4-6.
Returning starters: Five on offense; five on defense.
Players to watch: Nic Allman (Sr., WR); Adrian Hardwick (Soph., RB); Adrian Lester (Sr., DL).
Aug. 28 Pacelli
Sept. 11 at GMC
Sept. 18 at Strong Rock
Sept. 25 at Aquinas
Oct. 2 at Twiggs County
Oct. 9 FPD
Oct. 16 Wilkinson County
Oct. 23 Stratford
Oct. 30 at Tattnall Square
Nov. 6 Region 7-A crossover