By Morgan Bryce
Coming off a 13-1 season that saw his team capture its first-ever state title, Beauregard High School head football coach Rob Carter said he expects even more from his Hornet squad in 2017.
“We want to do something we didn’t do last year: go undefeated and win the region. Those are the two things we didn’t accomplish last year that we want to get done this year,” Carter said.
Carter said the strength of his team heading into 2017 is his 4-2-5 defense, which returns seven key contributors, including last year’s leading 5A tackler and middle linebacker Hunter Feaster.
“(On defense) we’re looking to be the more senior-oriented side, we’re expecting them to be tremendous and really vital to our success. We want them to get us three and outs and give possession back to our offense … because we feel like our offense can get the ball into the endzone every time it gets the ball,” Carter said.
Offensively, the Hornets will once again be led by their dynamic duo in the backfield of quarterback Jaichis Holmes and running back La’damian Webb.
An elusive runner with a strong arm, Holmes looks to improve on his junior campaign which saw him pass for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns, and rush for nearly 500 yards and 10 more scores.
Webb etched his name in Alabama high school football lore last season, breaking the state’s single-season rushing record with 3,242 yards and finishing second all-time for rushing touchdowns in a single season with 47.
Carter said fans can expect a balanced attack this fall, coming off the state championship game against Wenonah when Webb’s name was called 51 times in a 33-13 victory over the Dragons.
“I think everybody kind of has a misunderstanding about our offense after that game. We’re a pretty balanced team, but obviously, we’re going to hand the ball off to La’damian and allow Jaichis to get the ball to the receivers when we need to,” Carter said. “Don’t get me wrong, we’re primarily a running team … but we’re gonna mix it up.”
On special teams, Holmes will handle the punting duties, with Ulises Linares and Ricardo Mendoza sharing extra points and field goals. Webb, along with playmakers Jared McDonald and Daynton Thomas assisting on kickoff and punt returns.
The Hornets open their season Sept. 1 against Greenville, which finished 2-7 last season. On Oct. 13, the Hornets square off against region rival Central of Clay County, the only team to place a blemish on Beauregard’s championship run last season.
“No doubt that that game will be important. They’re always circled (on the schedule), they’re very competitive, they’re very well coached, they’re a very good football team and you definitely have to beat them to win the region,” Carter said. “But right now, we’re worried about game one, which is Greenville.”
Kickoff against Greenville is set for 7 p.m. Beauregard High School is located at 7343 Alabama Highway 51. Below is the Hornet’s full regular-season schedule:
Sept. 1 v. Greenville
Sept. 15 at Sylacauga
Sept. 22 v. Talladega
Sept. 29 v. Northview
Oct. 6 at Valley
Oct. 13 v. Central-Clay
Oct. 20 at Cleburne County
Oct. 26 v. Lincoln
Nov. 3 at Benjamin Russell.