Gibbs Eagles

The Gibbs High School Eagles are in a difficult situation when it comes to competing in football. Nestled in one of the toughest regions in the State of Tennessee, Region 2 3A, the Eagles nest is on a precarious perch to say the least. The region includes last year's state runner-up Fulton and perennial powers Anderson County, Austin-East, Kingston and Loudon.

Last year Gibbs finished 4-6 and on the outside looking in come playoff time. If the Eagles are to soar to new heights this season, Head Coach Randy Carroll must complete a major rebuilding job as few starters return to action.

"In our region you must play your best ball each Friday night if you expect to win," said Coach Carroll. "A team must have great discipline if they are to be successful," said the coach.

There are some key returnees on offense that give Coach Carroll some reason for optimism. The quarterback in the Eagles' double wing sets will be senior Dane Daley (5'10" 175). Daley spent many a game running for his life last season. He carried the ball 68 times but for only 11 total yards indicative of a QB that was sacked way too much. Daley did score 4 touchdowns. He also found time to complete 48 of 114 passes for 706 yards and 5 scores but was intercepted 11 times. Daley is also the Gibbs punter averaging 32 yards on 29 punts a year ago.

While Daley has experience and is a wily veteran, his receivers are anything but and must grow up in a hurry. Senior Brandon Hobby (6'0" 175) and junior Andy Shockley (6'1" 210) will be counted upon to provide good hands for Daley's aerials.

The Eagles have some experienced running backs returning looking to improve their numbers from a year ago. Senior Craig Dalton (5'9" 150) carried 23 times for 52 yards and a touchdown. Junior Shaun Lyon (5'9" 145) toted the pigskin another 23 times for 73 yards and fellow junior J.R. Day (6'0" 180) contributed a couple of carries but one was a 50 yard touchdown. Sophomore Jeremiah Wright (5'9" 160) will get his chances to run the ball. These guys have a chance now to step into the spotlight and be a Friday night hero.

The offensive line features experience and good size to be competitive. Junior Justin Keck (5'9" 200) is a stalwart at center. The guards should be seniors Daniel Haynes (6'0" 200) and Jordan Harrod (6'0" 210). The tackles are also seniors as Jay Humphrey (6'1" 300) and D.J. Graves (6'1" 250) are ready to blast away at the opposition. Juniors Aaron Munsey (6'0" 195) and David Banks (6'3" 195) will provide depth at guard and junior Dylan Pruitt (6'0" 280) will back up at tackle.

The same cast of characters will also line up on defense in the Eagles' 4-3 alignment. Gibbs has little depth so most players must go both ways which is difficult in this day and age especially in the 4th quarter against strong competition.

The defensive line should be team strength. Humphrey, Keck, Shockley and sophomore Cory Hairless (6'1" 170) will get most of the snaps with depth provided by Munsey, Pruitt and Banks. Humphrey is the top returning tackler among linemen as he recorded 23 total hits a year ago four of those for losses. Keck got in on three stops and Shockley seven tackles. The linebackers will be Harrod, Day, Jon Lindsey and Haynes. Haynes is the top returning backer off last year's defense. He ripped into 25 ball carriers in 2002 five of those stops for loss. Harrod got in on 9 tackles while Day jumped in on 6 tackles.

The defensive backfield will consist of Hobby, Daley, Dalton and Lyon. Dalton is the leading tackler returning to cause more harm this season as this Eagle used his talons to grasp 46 running backs. He also jumped in to snare two interceptions. Hobby was a lively participant in the fun as well. He recorded 27 hits and stole 3 "oskies" while Daley was in on 7 stops and Lyon got into double figures with 10 total tackles.

There is no question that the deck is stacked solidly against the Gibbs Eagles in their difficult region. There is also no question that they are well coached as Randy Carroll gets the most out of a team with talent but very little depth and that leads to trouble. If Daley has a good year decision wise at QB and the line blocks well then the Gibbs Eagles just might take flight with upsets in their talons in 2003. Prediction: 3-7>br>
Playoff Contender: No

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