Last season, Lee-Davis featured running back Nate Evans, who will be playing at William & Mary, a lot – on the ground and through the air.
However, along the way the Confederates offense groomed a young quarterback too – Zach Lass. The 6-2, 190-pounder, who has committed to play baseball at Richmond, threw for 1,469 yards and 12 touchdowns and got better as the season went on.
The role of Evans, who rushed for 1,340 yards on 196 carries and 24 touchdowns, will need to be ably filled and the Confederates plan to do so with senior Jamir Johnson and Josh Rice. Rice, a junior who shifts over from the wide receiver unit and Johnson was the third leading rusher on the team last year.
The good news is they have a stout line in front of them including senior guard Jeb Boswell (6-0, 350), an all-conference and all-metro performer last year. He will be joined by tight end Jalen Hargrove and Ned Anthony.
“The [skilled] players on offensive are talented but lack game experience,” said Lee-Davis coach Ryan Turnage.
“But the areas of concern will be our youth at wide receiver. Our receivers are talented but lack game experience. We expect them to improve each week.
“Our offense is expected to remain consistent with previous teams we have had at Lee-Davis. We wanted to get better each week and take advantages of opportunities to score.”
The good news for the Lee-Davis defense is that seven starters return including linemen Hargrove and Ty Mills, linebackers Anthony, Logan Dockman and Zach Green.
They are rounded out by two returning defensive backs in Johnson and Rice.
The special teams are taken care of as punter Joe Hudnall returns for his senior season. He might be as good as anyone in the area.
Role players Tyler Berry (6-0 170-pound junior), Harry Henderson (5-10 190 sophomore), Darius Kelly (5-10 160-pound junior), Kemar McCauley (6-0, 188-pound senior), Ethan Rowe (5-11 170-pound senior) and Jordan Watkins (5-9 160-pound sophomore) are a half dozen Hanover County players that will fill various roles for the Confederates.
Now that Turnage, who is in his fourth year, since coming over from Jamestown, he has had these players for three to four years, they are starting to learn the system. For that reason, Turnage expects both sides of the ball to be good “because they know our system.”
So, look for the Confederates to equal or better last year’s output and make life exciting for those folks on U.S. 360.
Name: Ryan Turnage
Last year’s record: 8-3
Years in coaching: 18
Years at school: fourth year
Quarterback: Junior Zach Lass (6-1, 185) will be back for his season year at quarterback for the Confederates.
Running Backs: Senior Jamir Johnson and junior Josh Rice, who shifts over from the wide receiver unit and Johnson was the third leading rusher on the team last year.
Wide Receivers: This group may be a little inexperienced but has a good deal of talent, according to Turnage, including senior tight end Jalen Hargrove (6-2, 245) and Ned Anthony 6-1, 195. Hargrove was an all-state performer last season.
Offensive Line: The good news is they have a stout line in front of them including senior guard Jeb Boswell (6-0, 350), an all-conference and all-metro performer last year. Damien Crawley and Bryce Hilliard who return from 2016 will make the group a good one.
Defensive Line: Senior Ty Mills and Jalen Hargrove will anchor the defensive line.
Linebackers: A strong group of four returners that includes Andrew Anthony (6-1, 180), Ned Anthony (6-1, 195), Logan Dockman (5-11, 190) and Zach Green (5-10, 200) at linebacker.
Defensive Backs: Jamir Johnson heads up this group which Josh RIce.