by Fanstand Staff/KJCE Staff,posted Apr 25 2013 10:41AM
WHERE WE LEFT OFF: Head coach Jason Cecil will have his Knights in camp on April 26th (Friday). The Knights first round playoff exit can be excused (27-59), as Rouse went on to play in the State Final Four.
The departure of Griffin Stuesser (20 total TDs) leaves a big void in stats and leadership. But that doesn't mean the role won't be filled by capable hands. We know Sabian Cannon ('15) enjoys playing QB, but he's also one of the Knights' most dynamic receivers/rushers. Outside of practice, we haven't seen QB Kris Reyes ('14) in action - but neither have 26-4A opponents. His unknown talent could become an x-factor for McCallum behind center.
The return of all-district offensive linman Robert Brown ('14) and Xavier Castillo ('15) will ensure continuity going into 2013. But the Knights have to replace all-district RB A.J. Herrera (820 rush yards, 9 TDs). RB Clement Jones ('15) showed some promise as a speed runner. K.P. Smalls ('14) could factor in as a goal line bruiser.
WR Willie Mays ('14) is one of the district's very best. He has the upside to play on Saturdays one day (avg. 20 ypc, 490 yards, 5 TDs). Our breakout pick is DeAndre Williams ('14) - an athletic option with a world of upside. Since many players will play both ways, Knights Wes Bellomy ('14) could also have big offensive years. Time will tell.
The Knights arguably have the best defensive front returning for 26-4A in 2013 - four of their players honored as all-district performers in 2012. The quadrant of returning trench players (Rashad Jarmon, Marquis King-Smith, Courtney Organ and Dewayne Bryant) will cause headaches for opposing offenisve lines. Last years loss of Ed Armstrong hurt McCallum, but the experience earned will play off in 2013.
Wes Bellomy is a speedy linebacker with deceptive strength. He can also play the pass, he'll rarely be mis-matched. Khalil Gant ('14) returns with all-district stripes to anchor the defensive backfield. Roosevelt Matthews ('15) could contribute more this season - but we could see the DB positions manned by two-way starters like Mays.
The Knights have their kicker set for the next two years. Jacob Carter ('15) was 3-4 on FG attempts, and relatively automatic (33-39) with extra points. Kris Reyes ('14) should once again handle punt duties. Any number of skill players for MAC could return kicks/punts - all with the ability to go for six on any given play.
Repeating as 26-4A champion is never easy, but Coach Jason Cecil has the pieces to do it. Much will lie on the shoulders of the team's new signal caller. After years of Lusson and Stuesser, Knight fans will be watching the new quarterback. A motivated coaching staff combined with several experienced returning stars bodes well for McCallum in 2013.
SPRING GAME DATE: May 25th (Saturday) at House Park
SEASON OPENER: August 29th (Thursday) v. Anderson at House Park