Last season saw the Blue Raiders make an early exit in the playoffs with a 30-22 loss to Knoxville Halls. This year they look to improve on their 7-4 record and move further into the playoffs.
Offensively the Blue Raiders will be led by senior quarterback Tucker Tipton (5-10, 185 pounds), who is receiving interest from schools like Duke, Eastern Kentucky, and Western Kentucky. Tipton will receive help in the aerial game from receiver Cory Baggett (6-2, 170 pounds) who will look to lead the receiving corps. The ground game will be lead by skill players like senior Monte Scotton (5-10, 185 pounds), who is being recruited by schools like Princeton and Colorado. The offense will also need big time plays from junior Terrell Parks (5-10, 175 pounds). Parks looks to have a big junior year in order to impress Notre Dame, Tennessee, Auburn, and Georgia to name a few schools already sending him mail. Another junior that will factor next season will be slot receiver Marcus Davis (6-0, 175 pounds).
The big men upfront will be leading the way for the Raiders this season. The offensive line will be returning five players with starting experience. With a veteran line the Raiders hope to be able to give their skill players time. Players like senior Austin Mathers (6-2, 260 pounds), Adam Thacker (6-4, 265), Cliff Dye (5-9, 250 pounds), Trevor Best (6-0, 210 pounds), and Ian Raymond (5-8, 245 pounds) will look to make this team one of the best in the Chattanooga area. This unit looks to be one of the strongest groups on the team and hopes to steer the offense.
Defensively Cleveland will return ten players with playing experience or starting experience. The frontline will be showcased by senior Austin Mathers (6-2, 260 pounds), Trevor Best (6-0, 210 pounds), and junior Chip Norwood (5-9, 210 pounds). Following the defensive front the defense will expect big things from linebackers Kameron Morrison (5-10, 245 pounds) and Kai Caton Harris (6-0, 175 pounds). The secondary will be led by seniors Tucker Tipton (5-10, 185 pounds), Cory Baggett (6-2, 170 pounds), and Monte Scotton (5-10, 185 pounds). Also contributing in the defensive backfield will be juniors Terrell Parks (5-10, 175 pounds) and Marcus Davis (6-0, 175 pounds). The secondary should be strong with so many great athletes with a ton of game experience.
Players to Watch in 2008
1. Tucker Tipton Senior QB/FS 5-10, 185 lbs.
2. Monte Scotton Senior RB/DB 5-10, 185 lbs.
3. Austin Mathers Senior OL/DL 6-2, 260 lbs.
4. Terrell Parks Junior Slot/DB 5-10, 175 lbs.
5. Marcus Davis Junior Slot/DB 6-0, 175 lbs.
After a 7-4 season and a taste of the playoffs look for this senior led team to make some noise in 4A. With 16 starters returning and the growth of juniors like Terrell Parks and Macrus Davis the Blue Raiders look to march deep into the playoffs. In one of the tougher regions in Tennessee look for some big games against schools like Chattanooga Brainerd, Chattanooga Red Bank, and Rhea County.