Prep Preview 2014: S. Granville's Bowman misses old pals on OL
Actually, Don Colgan has been in charge of South Granville High School football for a good bit of time — sort of.
For the past two and a half years, Colgan has been athletics director at South Granville, which technically put him in charge of all of its sports.
Mike Hobgood was the head coach for South Granville’s football team, and he was a good one, too. Colgan was one of his assistant coaches.
But Hobgood left the 2-A Vikingsover the summer to become head coach at Raleigh’s Leesville Road High School, a 4-A program.
Colgan applied to become head coach at South Granville and got the nod.
“Coach Hobgood has done a great job in building this program over his nine years at South Granville,” Colgan said.
South Granville was 9-3 overall last season, 4-1 in the Northern Carolina 2-A Conference. Ahoskie Hertford County beat South Granville 27-14 in the first round of the 2-AA state playoffs.
“We have a strong core of skill players returning, but we did graduate seven offensive lineman,” Colgan said. “We have a good number of skill athletes on offense, but very inexperienced on the offensive line.”
That’s not ideal news for Vikings all-conference running back Sean Bowman. That goes for Mitchell Blackley, too, who is projected to start at quarterback for South Granville.
“We will be a small team in numbers and in size compared to the past couple of seasons,” Colgan said. “During the spring, Coach Hobgood had started to install a new offense to take advantage of our strengths and make up for our youth on the front line. We are continuing to develop that offense.”
Bowman will be flanked at running back by either Elijah Cotton or Chad Hiniker, or both, with fullback Earl Green blocking for them. The receivers are Deonté King and Abraham Barron.
The line, from left tackle to right tackle, will feature Hunter Holliday, Watson Cockrell, center Austin Brogden, Tyler Bunts and Christian Sykes.
Things look better for South Granville on the defensive side of the ball.
“Defensively, we will make a fundamental switch in fronts to take advantage of our skill,” Colgan said. “We will be quicker on defense, so we are moving to the 3-4. The schedule will test us from the start. We travel to Rocky Mount and Chapel Hill the first two weeks of the season.”
Bowman and all-conference linebacker King have attracted the interest of coaches from Elon and N.C. State, Colgan said. No Vikings have made college commitments, the coach said.
In the 3-4 defense, there’ll be a lot of two-way players lining up. Holliday and Green man the ends and Brogden the nose tackle slot up front. King is the strong side linebacker, Austin Higgs mans the middle and Bunts and Cotton are battling for the starting nod on the weak side.
The secondary consists of Jamil Jafar, Spencer Allen, Casey Flowers and Bowman.
In the NCC, Bunn is the frontrunner to emerge as league champs, Colgan said.
But that’s on paper. It’s about what happens between the chalked lines.
“I look forward to the challenge,” Colgan said.
NOTES — Bowman, who’ll rarely see the sidelines, is the Vikings’ primary kick and punt returner. Ryan McGee will punt for the Vikes, and Grayson Parrish is the placekicker.
PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEWS: This is the third in a 17-part series taking a look at our area high school football programs. The previews will run daily from through Friday, Aug. 22, opening night of the 2014 season.