This is the third in a series examining high school football teams in the Bi-City area during spring practice.
Carver's spring practice will be held from May 1-16.
Team name: Carver Tigers
2013 record: 11-2, 6-0
How finished in region: Region 2-AAA champions
Playoff result: Lost 31-7 in quarterfinals to Buford
Key losses: WR Marqui Hawkins, QB Torrance McGee, DE Brandon Watt, RB Brandon Thomas, C John Thomas, DT Gerald Williams
Key returnees: QB Jawon Pass, DB Khane Pass, RB Noah Hickey, DEMekhi Brown, LB Tim Whatley, LB Tim London, DBKiante Walton
My take: It’s a new feel for Carver football in the spring.
There is a new head coach, Joe Kegler, who moves up from offensive coordinator to fill the position vacated by Dell McGee. There’s also a new quarterback under center as Jawon Pass steps in for Torrance McGee, who started at the position for the past two years before transferring to North Cobb this semester.
While some of the faces may be new, the expectations are the same for the Tigers this spring, however.
Kegler told me on Tuesday that he has no plans of rocking the boat at Carver. There may be some tweaks for personal preference here and there, but there won’t be a whole lot of difference between how his team and McGee’s teams are run.
“If it isn’t broke, I don’t need to fix it,” Kegler said.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of concern as the team begins its spring practice. The major focus is building depth, not just in numbers but in players capable of stepping up when called upon.
“You can never have too many players,” Kegler said.
The talent at the top of the depth chart is obviously there with a number of returning players who received mention on All-Region and All-Bi-City teams.
That includes Walton, Whatley, London and Niemus Bryant, a handful of players Kegler said to keep an eye on.
Brown is the big name on the defense, having just made a commitment to the University of Alabama during the offseason.
Jawon Pass may be the most intriguing person to watch, however. A rising sophomore, Pass got a handful of opportunities in mop-up time a year ago, but is relatively green other than that.
That said, he is also a player both Dell McGee and Kegler have said has all the tools to make it in high school and beyond. McGee, on multiple occasions, predicted that Pass would be a big-time player for the Tigers.
The quarterback was 6-foot-4, 190 pounds on last year’s roster as a freshman. Those numbers are only going to improve. So are his passing numbers, which will benefit from a season in the offense.
One thing I will be interested in seeing is whether Carver sticks to its tried and true methods on offense (pounding the ball on the ground and winning games in the trenches), or whether it will take advantage of the superior athletic and passing abilities of the young Pass.
It’s something to keep an eye on going forward.
Whatever the case, Carver looks to be in good hands going forward. Despite being a new face with the headsets on, don’t be surprised if we see similar results out of Carver in the near future.
Follow along every day for a look at football teams around the Bi-City area. Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.
April 29: Brookstone
April 30: Calvary Christian