Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: McCormick

Head coach: Art Mann (Second year at McCormick; fifth overall)

Classification: SCHSL Region 1-A

2005 record: 0-10

Four-year record (since 2002): 8-33

Last playoff appearance: 2003

Returning starters: 8 offense, 8 defense

Key Chiefs: Senior FB/LB Octavious Blair (5-8, 220); Junior DE/RB Jerel Franklin (5-11, 185); Sophomore RB/LB Zack McDuffie (5-11, 185); Senior OT Alton Brown (6-5, 350); Senior QB/DB William Peterson (6-0, 175)

Offensive attack: The Chiefs will run the Wing-T, and the more they put the ball in the hands of Franklin, the better. He's got 4.5 speed and is a two-year starter on both sides of the ball. If he's smart, he'll follow Blair and Brown to find the big gains. Blair is a three-year starter, and the massive Brown is the strongest player on the team and the anchor of the line.

Defensive keys: Look for the Chiefs to line up in the 4-3 and adjust when situations dictate. The improvement in the team strength program should show a defensive dividend. Freshman newcomer Kentrell Freeman (6-3, 190) can shore up the defensive end and linebacker spots. He's got good size and speed and should shine early at the Class A level.

Thin at: Offensive line

Big game: Vs. Calhoun Falls, Oct. 27

Different this year: Lincoln County shows up on the nonregion schedule.

Could go bad if: The team loses its confidence during nonregion play.

Great year if: McCormick turns into a solid defensive team. If the Chiefs can keep offenses off the field, there might be enough offensive punch to stay in games. A five-win season would certify that this is a program on the rise.


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