Sequoyah Chiefs

The Sequoyah Chiefs suffered their own version of the trail of tears in 2002 as this particular tribe struggled to an 0-10 record. Head Coach Don Kerley is ready to begin his third year as the Sequoyah Chief. There is every reason to believe this year's team will turn it around and go on the warpath.

"We only had one senior last season," said Coach Kerley. "This season we have thirteen although some of these guys haven't played much football. We look to have a winning season and earn a trip to the playoffs." If the Chiefs do indeed make the postseason, it would be only their third appearance since the school was founded in 1995. "The kids have really worked hard in the weightroom," said Coach Kerley. "We should be much stronger and more physical but have also increased our speed and athleticism. We should also execute our offense better and are much further along even now than at any time a year ago," continued the coach.

All eleven starters are back on both sides of the football. In Sequoyah's Wing-T attack, the running game is king and the Chiefs have the beef up front to get it done. Five seniors fill out the starting spots along the offensive line with the anchor at center being Brandon Ingram (6'1" 230). The guards should be John Hatcher (5'11" 210) and Doug Strickland (6'1" 240). The tackles will be twin towers Matt Tallent (6'5" 290) and Danny Cowart (6'2" 270). Cowart is the strongest player on the team according to Coach Kerley. Seniors Corey Brinkley (6'0" 175) will back up at guard while Eddie Grissom (6'2" 215) will provide much needed depth at tackle.

The beneficiaries of all those big fellas up front will be Sequoyah's backs. Senior fullback Jerome Felton (6'1" 230) is a powerful runner who has led the Chiefs in rushing the past two season. Felton ripped his way to over 1000 yards in 2002 and earned All County honors. The wingbacks will be senior Chris Carson (5'10" 170) and junior Johnny Lee (5'8" 160). Junior Michael Watkins (6'0" 190) will get carries at fullback while sophomores Jason Hamilton (5'8" 160) and Brad West (6'0" 170) hope to get chances to run the ball at wingback.

On those rare occasions when the Chiefs go to the air attack, senior quarterback Dwayne Anderson (6'0" 190) will look for big tight end Lee Elam (6'3" 215) who is a junior. Anderson took over as the Chiefs' signal caller midway through last season and is a strong ball carrier who breaks a lot of tackles according to Coach Kerley. Sophomore Nathan Walker (5'9" 150) will back up Anderson under center.

Senior Brad Miller (5'8" 160) is the Chiefs' top returning wide receiver. Junior Jonathan Jones (6'3" 180) has tremendous potential and has his coach excited about his future as a pass catcher. Jones is an excellent athlete who also is a solid player on the basketball court. Fellow junior Tillman Steele (5'8" 170) will back up Elam at tight end.

When Sequoyah bogs down offensively in enemy territory, they will turn to senior placekicker Corey Arwood (5'10" 175) to attempt field goals. Arwood is a soccer player who does a great job says his coach. He will also drop back and be the Cheifs' punter.

The same basic players will line up in Sequoyah's 4-4 defense as most of the Chiefs must play both ways. Cowart is a stalwart at defensive tackle along with Strickland. Tallent and Yates will rotate inside as well. The ends should be Elam and Watkins.

The four man linebacker corps features Anderson and Felton in the middle of the fray. Anderson has been the Chiefs' leading tackler for the past two seasons and hopes to make it a threepeat. Brinkley will get plenty of snaps both inside and at outside linebacker. West and Miller will also line up outside and find their way to the football.

The defensive backfield headliner is Carson at one of the cornerback positions. He is a very good cover corner and is always put opposite the opponents best receiver according to Coach Kerley. Lee should be the other corner but Hamilton, Walker, junior Derek Stallcup (5'8" 150) and sophomore Justin Ford (6'1" 165) are pushing for playing time in the secondary. Jones will roam the field looking for interceptions at free safety.

If any team is capable of a bigtime turnaround this season it is the Sequoyah Chiefs. The team boasts a solid group of linemen and there is surprising depth along both lines that will prove beneficial late in ballgames. All eleven starters return on both sides of the ball and this nation of Chiefs will enter the season hungry to get on a major winning warpath. The schedule is tough but Sequoyah just might earn that postseason berth Coach Kerley is searching for in 2003. Prediction- 5-5

Playoff Contender- Yes

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