L.C. Bird goes into this season looking to return to championship form.
The Skyhawks went 9-1 during the regular season, losing to Manchester and coming up short against the eventual state champions Highland Springs in the playoffs. The Skyhawks would pick up big wins by defeating Thomas Dale, Monacan, Cosby and Hermitage in a playoff game.
Last season, the Skyhawks were led by three seniors Shedrick McCall III (Norfolk State), Rayshard Ashby (Virginia Tech), and Isaiah Moore (North Carolina State). Having a running back like McCall tired defenses out while also having two ACC linebackers benefitting them as well.
This year, they go into the season losing those three players and their veteran coach David Bedwell, who took on the athletic director’s role at L.C. Bird. Taking over the head-coaching position is a man who is familiar with the program — Anthony Nicely. Nicely has been with the program since 1992 being with JV and also being the defensive coordinator for the last few years.
“It feels like I’m at home.” Coach Nicely said when asked about being the head coach. “I’ve been here since 92′ I was gone for little while in the 90’s but I came back nothing different for me. I’ve been here for almost half as I’ve been alive.”
The Skyhawks are led by senior quarterback Marcus Banks, who started every game last season. The 6-0 signal-caller played well last season and has a cannon for an arm. The running back position took a hit but has gained another head as they will be led by Corbin Donaldson, who rushed for over a 1,000 yards last year and also Jeremiah Carter, who transferred from Matoaca, will also be in the mix.
The Skyhawks defense line will be huge this year as they will be led by Hakeem Beamon. The UNC-commit will look to continue to do his work on the line alongside is Demontre Blowe, who racked up a number of sacks last season.
Name: Anthony Nicely
Last year record: 11-2
Years in coaching: 25
Years at school: 25 (1st as head coach)
College: Chowan
Quarterback: Senior Marcus Banks will continue to start this season. With his cannon of an arm and his QB IQ, he looks to take another step this season. Behind him is Meadowbrook transfer and junior Jamon “Doc” Battle, who also has a big arm. With Banks knowing the playbook more, he’ll have the advantage going into the season.
Running Backs: Behind Banks is the duo of Corbin Donaldson and Jeremiah Carter. Coach Nicely went on to call the senior backs “Very Capable” of handling the rock. Donaldson looks to lead the two as he ran for more than 1000 yards last season. Carter will also be a threat to teams with his ability to break off tackles.
Wide Receivers: On the outside will be Jemourri LaPierre, a 5’9 Senior, who has amazing speed and on the other side it will be Jaden Payoute, a 6’3 188 pound Junior who looks to his size and speed as his advantage. Coach says it will be a 6 others who will look to play wide out at any time.
Hakeem Beamon

Offensive Line: Junior guard Chauncey “C.J.” Lynch will be one of the returners on the line alongside Lynch it will be Jaden Davis, a 6’2 220 pound guard, Davis is also the brother of former Skyhawk Andre Davis who played on the line during his tenure with the team. UNC commit Hakeem Beamon will also see time on the line as he was All Region tackle last season.

Defensive Line: Hakeem Beamon will also be on the defensive line too as he plays both sides. Beamon will be playing tackle or as an edge rusher. With Beamon being 6’4 260, he looks to continue to rush the quarterback. Joining Beamon it will be 5’11 Senior Damontre Blowe, who made some starts last year making huge impact. The other two positions will be a committee of players according to coach.
Emanuel Conway

Linebackers: The Skyhawks take hit here as this will be there first year without Rayshard Ashby or Isaiah Moore here. Jaden Davis will be playing here as the Junior looks to take the strong side. Emanuel Conway, who just received an offer from West VA Wesleyan this summer will be holding down the middle. With Conway, Junior Syunn Mills will be joining Conway as both have experience from last year.

Defensive Backs: Javon LaPierre will be one of the three returning defensive starters. The 5’10 defensive back will be back after starting last year. LaPierre’s combination of speed and quickness will be his advantage. On the other side is Jaden Payoute, who got some play last season as well. Payoute has tremendous size being a 6’3 defensive back. At Strong Safety it will be a returner in junior Xavier Addison. The 5’11 175 pound safety will look to continue his consistent ability to tackle and making solid plays. The Skyhawks have a battle for their last safety position.
Special Teams: Punting the ball for the Skyhawks will be Jaden Payoute and with their kicker graduating last year, it will be a battle between Juniors Marcos Chavez and Jamie Dominguez, who both were on JV last season.