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Comets settle on starting lineup for football opener

SoVaNow.com / August 29, 2013
Halifax County High School football has settled on its starting lineup heading into the non-district opening test at Jefferson Forest Friday night.

It all starts with the quarterback spot.

HCHS will use Jacob Garrett, a sophomore. “Manages the offense well, but still learning. He’s an athlete (5-9, 175 pounds), strong, pretty quick,” said Comet coach Mike Roark. Garrett’s main task will be managing the offense, and he has running ability.

In the backfield, the B-back is Marykee Thomas, with Roland Brandon the A-back. Devan Richardson is the x-position performer and Truman Brown and Richard Jacobs rotate at the z position.

Brown is a first-year starter who played at times last year. Roark is looking for more consistency, although he noted Brown is a hard worker and runs his routes well. Jacobs has been a positive surprise in camp, and has picked up the offense and made some fine plays, especially last Saturday in the benefit game. He is also playing well on defense.

Brown is a strong player and a good blocker, with the ability to plow for yards inside. Brandon is a feature back. “Roland’s your money maker. We’re going to try to get him the ball as much as we can out in space,” said Roark.

Richardson is a track standout, and the Comets are seeking to capitalize on that quality to help with football. “His hands have gotten better. We’re going to find ways to put the ball in Devin’s hands,” said Roark.

As for the offensive line, R.J. Scott is handling the center spot. Scott is a sophomore and is one of the linemen who went to Cleveland for the NFL player development competition.

The guards are wiry James Halaz, and Jarius Marable, with Darius Younger in the mix. Marable and Younger went to Cleveland. Casey Abedeljail will start on the strong side tackle, with Jamal Hubbard on the back side tackle, with added quickness at that spot.

The Comets generally don’t run a tight end. If one is needed, it will be Tre Morgan. Oliver or Ricky Tucker at times.

As for the defensive alignments, HCHS will use some of the same performers, although there will be other faces on this side of the ball.

Ryan Waller and Halaz will play linebacker. Thomas and Morgan are the ‘dogs’, i.e., strong safeties. R. Jacobs, Alonzio Jones, D. Richardson, and Malik Clark man the secondary.

Up front, HCHS is looking at D. Younger, Ricky Tucker and Jamal Hubbard as the front three.

Only a handful of Comets are playing both ways, and even then, it’s not like they are working every snap. There are rotations through the lineup, with various combinations in the lineup.

As for special teams, HCHS may show some versatility. For instance, Roark’s approach to punting goes against the grain.

“We’re going to line up in the spread. Our quarterback is able to kick the ball 30 yards. If you don’t cover us, we’re going to run something,” said Roark. The aim here is to try and dilute the punt rush.

Kyle Lacks is the field goal/PAT specialist. Lacks’ best range is inside the 25. Sergio Regalado will handle kickoffs. Richardson, Brandon, M. Thomas will handle returns. Roark noted, “the sleeper of that bunch is Rymiel Windsor. He’s starting to come on strong the last couple of weeks. He’s going to be a player,” said Roark.

HCHS has a very young team, with only 14 seniors on the current roster. The good news here is that Roark has a base for next year, and beyond, even if HCHS struggles a bit with consistency.

And a couple of those seniors are first year players.

As for specialists, R.J. Scott is the long snapper, and Roark is happy with his progress. The holder on PATs is Kyran Adams.

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