Coach Patrick Mallory and the Lawrence North Wildcats are inching their way back to respectability. The Wildcats return 18 of 22 players on their offensive depth chart and welcome back 9 defensive starters. The biggest challenge is playing in the Metropolitan Conference with the likes of Warren Central, Carmel, Ben Davis, Center Grove, Pike and Lawrence Central. Throw in non-conference tilts with Noblesville and Brownsburg and the sledding gets tougher.
Damon Watts has been a fixture on the Wildcats defense for the past few seasons. Look for him to have a solid senior season.
Mammoth Offensive tackle Caleb Jones is developing into a top 2017 prospect. The Indiana Hoosiers recently offered the rising talent.
SCOUTING THE: WILDCATS POSITION BY POSITION
Junior Jackson Hamerlsy was the starter last season and again have senior Trent Minter as a backup.
Senior Brandon Martin, junior Al McKeller, junior Addison Brown, junior Martell Williams and senior DuShawn Tunstall make up a deep and talented backfield.
Seniors Gano Williams and Adrian Schumpert lead the Wildcat receivers. Senior tight end Keivan Rahimi (6-1, 215) is also back.
Senior Marcus Taylor (6-3, 290) is back at right tackle, senior Justin Pennington (6-1, 270) at right guard, senior Stephen Majors (6-1, 270) at center, and junior Caleb Jones (6-7, 335) at left tackle. Also returning are junior Robb Brown (6-1, 335), junior Robert Samuels (6-2, 225) and senior Antonio Trabue (6-1, 230).
The Wildcats return three starters up front. Back are junior Myles McClendon (5-11, 260), senior Cameron Taylor (6-1, 230) and junior Josh Ervin (6-2, 225). Some other possibilities are: senior Valentino Smith (6-1, 230), senior Kemontie Johnson (6-1, 230), senior Eric Almeida (5-10, 200), senior Alex Ovispo (5-10, 210) and senior Imani Gadis (6-3, 215).
There are plenty of experienced players on hand. Senior Damon Watts (6-0, 200), junior Trevon Carson (5-6, 180), junior Tahji Irving (6-0, 210), junior Cheitric Reid (5-9, 170), senior Brandon Martin (6-2, 230), sophomore Maliq Carr (6-3, 200) and junior Jerome Harsell (5-9, 190).
Look for senior Connor Perkins, junior Tanner Higgins, senior William Clay, senior Adrian Schumpert, senior Kivhani Myers and junior Jordan Holder
The Wildcats improvement will be hard to show record wise. Playing in the toughest conference in the state will be a huge challenge. Look for this Lawrence North team to pull off some surprises in 2015.