Kestrel Heights football looks to build on 2013 growth
Kestrel Heights is coming off its best season.
The Hawks won three games a year ago.
That’s how tough it’s been for Coach David Lloyd’s program.
This will be the sixth season of Kestrel Heights football. The Hawks’ cumulative record is 5-33-2, and just that sheer number of losses doesn’t come close to underscoring how painful some of them were. Lots of goose eggs laid by the Hawks, while their opponents sometimes scored like the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
Last season, Granville Central beat Kestrel Heights 80-0. It didn’t sit well with Lloyd, not at all.
But the best way to deal with that sort of thing is for the Hawks to get better.
“We have several returning starters, most of them on the offensive line,” Lloyd said.
Kestrel Heights center Antonio Broadie is expected to be flanked on his right by guard Chris Craine and tackle Amari McArthur, with guard Braxton King and tackle Ahmad Adams holding down the blind side for the Hawks’ quarterbacks.
“Devonté Barker and Bevin Copeland are both battling for the starting QB job,” Lloyd said. “Both guys have had a really good summer, and it is a pretty tight race.”
One of those young men will be handing off the ball to running back Dezmond Garrett. If he and the offensive lineman can move the chains with the ground game, then that should give wide receivers Forrest Carrow, Kendell Crump and Shane Tillery room to operate.
“One kid I am really excited to see once we can go in full pads is Ramsey Davis,” Lloyd said. “We moved Ramsey (from safety) to linebacker. He has the ability to be a game changer for us on defense. He has always been a hitter, but he has worked really hard on improving his pass coverage this summer. Ramsey should be fun to watch this year.”
The same coaching staff at Kestrel Heights is back for a second full season. That gives the Hawks some continuity toward tackling last season’s run of 3-8-1 on the 1-A level.
Win or lose, there’s no mistaking Lloyd’s love for his team. After Granville Central put those 80 points on the Hawks that night under the Friday-night lights, Lloyd talked about how his players would show up ready to get back after it at practice on Monday. He said he wouldn’t have traded his guys for any other football players in the world.
“We play an independent schedule, so we will not have a conference,” Lloyd said. “We play a lot of good football teams. We have worked really hard this summer, and we are looking forward to the start of the season. We have high expectations for our team this year, but I guess every coach feels the same way.”
PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEWS: This is the first in a 17-part series taking a look at our area high school football programs. The previews will run daily from today through Friday, Aug. 22, opening night of the 2014 season.