BY GENE NARDI
The fall football season is about to get underway, and the Seminole Ridge High School Hawks have high expectations.
Last year, the Hawks were the District 9-8A runners-up and finished the season with a 6-5 record. The Hawks also saw 28 seniors graduate with the Class of 2014, but will return key starters on both sides of the ball.
Returning as center, senior Jake Jones will anchor the offensive line for the Hawks. Jones was the offense backbone for the Hawks last year.
Florida Atlantic University-committed duo Kerrith Whyte and Jalen Young return at the running back position, with Young also contributing also as a receiver, according to head coach Scott Barnwell.
The Hawks are going to stick with what has been working for them, a solid running game, but look for the team to throw the ball more this year.
The squad is no stranger to the weight room; the Hawks have one day off from the weight room, Christmas Day, according to Barnwell. “In order to be the best, that’s what you have to do,” he added.
Receiver Kevin Bassaragh also returns. “He has really been a welcome surprise for us, and we needed it,” Barnwell said.
An American Heritage transfer, junior Sean Edwards, will help out in the backfield and at the linebacker position.
Defensively, the Hawks have a 220-pounder in senior Kyle Grieser as their run-stopper in the center. Sophomore Dyllon Lyons will help lead the Hawk defensive line. The 6-foot-4 255-pounder has been showing promise in camp. Junior Joseph Schergen returns to the secondary, and senior Jordan Tanner has been making big plays in camp at the cornerback and running back positions.
The action has been at the quarterback position, with 6-foot-5 senior James Parson and 6-foot-3 junior Dalton Trimble. “Looking at them, they both fit the part, and are battling it out,” Barnwell said. “I’m looking for one to pull away, but they’re both even right now.”
Senior Jacob Curran returns to lead the kicking and special teams. “Jacob set a school record last season with a 53-yard field goal; his leg is stronger this year, and he knows what he is doing,” Barnwell said.
Young, Whyte and Edwards will be the kick-return attack force for the Hawks. “It has been a great camp so far, and we have no injuries, so we’ll take one week at a time,” Barnwell said of his squad.
The Hawks are in one of the toughest districts in Palm Beach County, with defending district champions and state semifinalists Palm Beach Gardens, and perennially tough Wellington, with Jupiter improving. The team looks strong, has confidence and continues to set the bar high as its members prepare for the fall season.
Seminole Ridge will open with its Kickoff Classic on Friday, Aug. 22, hosting Broward’s South Plantation at 7 p.m. The Hawks will then travel down to Boca Raton to take on the Bobcats in the regular-season opener Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.
ABOVE: Senior quarterback James Parson throws a pass during drills at camp.