Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: John Hancock



Head coach: Chuck Sumner (Second year at John Hancock; 15th overall)

Classification: GISA Class A North

2005 record: 4-7

Four-year record (since 2002): 20-27

Last playoff appearance: 2005

Returning starters: 6 offense, 2 defense

Key Rebels: Junior LB Jesse Batchelor (6-0, 215); Senior QB Gil Pound (5-9, 170; Junior LB Joseph Tillson (5-9, 170); Senior OL Jacob Thompson (5-9, 220); Senior OL Jack Kitchens (5-10, 260)

Offensive attack: The Rebels will call on Pound to lead their Wishbone. John Hancock threw just 49 times in 11 games in 2005. Maybe it should repeat that formula; four starters return on the line.

Defensive keys: They should operate out of the 4-4. Batchelor led the team with 100 tackles last year. Defense is a concern. The defense that allowed 25 points per game last season returns just two starters. The Rebels were beaten by 20 or more points four times.

Thin at: Secondary and wide receiver

Big game: At Thomas Jefferson Academy, Nov. 3

Different this year: The region schedule. Only two games are nonregion matchups, and the GISA state champs from Class A and AA are in the region this year.

Could go bad if: Any two-way starters on the 19-man roster are injured. The loss of Batchelor for an extended period would decimate the team. He's vital to so many positions.

Great year if: The Rebels find a replacement for Kevin Grimes, who ran for 1,232 yards and 22 scores last fall. If anyone can come close to those totals, it could mean a winning season.