After going 0-10 last season, the Armstrong Wildcats have decided to make changes for immediate impact. With McDaniel Anderson out as coach, in comes first time coach Kenny Painter. Painter is a Virginia State alumni who made a name for him self by earning all-CIAA honors at cornerback, kick returner and punt returner.
Although not winning any games doesn’t mean the Wildcats have kept themselves close in games. They were able to keep themselves in the game against John Marshall losing by a score of 23-15 and a nail biter of a loss to George Wythe losing 8-6.
Coach Painter has high hopes being the head coach and looks to change a lot.
“We’re going to take it one day at a time. Progression is the main thing starting with academics. It starts off the field we want to get the kids to buy into the classroom.” Painter says. “We know we are going to get results. We know it may take a while, but we will get results.”
With some kids from last year’s team, the Wildcats look to get better and improve from last season.
Quarterback:Sophomore Jacquel Thomas will be taking over the job. With Myles Osbourne moving positions, the Wildcats will look for Thomas to be the new play caller. Thomas has a good arm alongside some accuracy. Thomas also has a good body frame (6’0 170) to be a dual threat quarterback. Expect to see Thomas make strides in his first full season as the Quarterback.
Running Backs: Senior Marlon Osbourne will be taking the load. Coach Painter praised Osbourne saying he can take tons of carries while also being able to be a three down back. With Osbourne having history of playing for the Wildcats, it gives him the advantage of knowing how Armstrong football is. Osbourne possesses speed and power of a true running back and having him gives Armstrong a hard runner.
Wide Receivers: The Wildcats will have a group of players who can catch the ball. Senior DeShaun Bailey will be one of the receivers on the outside. Alongside Bailey will be returning senior Jarius Stewart, who is an all around player playing offensive line and defensive line last season. Stewart posses hands and speed. In the slot will be short man and speed man Treyshaun Bailey. The junior is a good route runner, which will benefit the Wildcats. Myles Osbourne, brother of Marlon will be stepping in here as well.
Offensive Line: With senior William Gray out, the Wildcats have a hole to fill in.
Charles Coleman is a name to here out for as Coleman is a tall lineman (6’2 170) who also is very versatile playing tight end as well. Jahmir Bowers is a returning Senior who has the experience at offensive line. Bowers has the experience from last season and showed a ton of potential in the off-season.
Defensive Line:Expect Myles Osbourne, Jahmir Bowers, and some Charles Coleman on the defensive side of the ball as well. Bowers played some defensive line last season as his experience will help the Wildcats get to the quarterback. Coach Painter says the line will use it’s speed to get to the backfield.
Linebackers:This unit shows a ton of potential as offensive weapons Jacquel Thomas and Marlon Osbourne will lead the defensive unit. While in some defensive packages, Jahmir Bowers will be in the position to play some linebacker. With speed and strength, Osbourne and Thomas fit these roles perfectly.
Secondary:Deshaun Bailey will be back here, his ability to read receivers routes from his experience at the receiver spot gives him an edge. Jaris Stewart will be one of the safeties. Stewart was is a great tackler who knows how make plays on the ball. Treyshaun Bailey will also be back here playing some corner and safety. Bailey may be the little guy, but Bailey can make big hits while also being able to make big tackles.
Special Teams: Painter said he expects anybody to be here to make the play when needed.