No rest for the Wildcats, spring football ends Thursday

Published 8:00am Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Edgewood Academy has adopted the moniker “tradition never graduates” in terms of the school’s athletic successes of late.

Taylor Hawthorne turns to throw a pass for the Wildcats.
Taylor Hawthorne turns to throw a pass for the Wildcats.

Days after the Wildcats defeated Lakeside to win the Class A baseball championship, Edgewood turned its attention to the gridiorn.

“We are losing a really good senior class,” said Wilcats coach Bobby Carr. “But the challenges that face this team are nothing new. They were the same ones that were put in front of last year’s class and the year before that.”

The task in front of Carr and his Wildcats this spring is filling the shoes of 16 seniors (12 starters) who will walk across the graduation stage in a matter of days.

“We are going to have to do some different things this year,” said Carr. “We lost some playmakers and might not be as explosive as we were.”

The Wildcats will have the 1-2 punch of Taylor Hawthorne and Josh Crawford in the backfield.

“They are both big, physical players,” said Carr. “Hawthorne’s in the Kolin Kaepernick mold – that’s a good comparison – he’s able to do some things back there because of his size that’s going to help us this fall.”

Carr has also been pleased with a number of new and young faces who didn’t play much during the 2012 championship run.

“The enthusiasm is up,” said Carr. “We’ve got more kids out than we’ve had in the past  and a lot of those kids have grown up and are working for their opportunity this year. They’ve just got to keep grinding away and getting better every day.”

He highlighted the leadership of Jesse Benton. The speed of Garrett Gibson and the strength of Austin Brown.

“We’ve got Austin Barnett; he’s going to be a stump for us on the defensive front. He played in the state championship game as a freshman. And Jackson Tate, who will probably move into the split end role. He did good for us in the games where Crawford was hurt.”

Carr added that there will be 8-10 new faces on the roster this upcoming season.

The Wildcats will enter the fall shouldering a 31-game winning streak on top their third straight Class AA title.

“Everybody is expecting us to fall back a notch,” said Carr. “Our coaches know that and the kids are taking that as a challenge and you can see a lot of hunger in their eyes.”

Edgewood will cap the spring practice period Thursday afternoon with its annual Green and White scrimmage beginning at 5:30.

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