“The coaches emphasize how we started and how we ended and the mentality of these young men that we're grooming for the next few years — especially since we have a really young bunch — that, hey, you can't give up on your efforts. You continue to get better daily, and you reap rewards at the end. Don't always get your head down. If you get knocked down, you've got to get back up.”
- Rob Carter, Beauregard head coach
Several of the Hornets’ offensive stars from 2018 have graduated. Now, the question is who’s next.
The departures of quarterbacks Sam Harris and Q. Seroyer have left Beauregard with a three-man race to start between seniors Cody Knight and Cason Blackmon and sophomore Gage Watts. Beauregard head coach Rob Carter explained no one has separated himself from the group, and it’s possible they use more than one quarterback for the second straight season.
The uncertainty regarding who will be throwing passes coincides with uncertainty about who will be catching them. Gone is several contributors from last year’s receiving corps including Isaiah McKissic, an Alcorn State signee. The team does return starter Jaion Goodson along with backup Jay Sinclair, who figures to play a bigger role this time around.
Goodson was a player Carter pointed to as one his offense can rely on.
“Jaion is a smaller guy and a quick guy. He's an inside receiver we use different ways in the run game,” Carter said. “He really has gotten stronger. He looks really good this offseason. We'll get the ball to him a lot and get it in his hands. He can make things happen.”
One of the known quantities for the Hornets can be found at running back. Ashton Moss returns to the backfield after nearly eclipsing 500 rushing yards in his junior year. Moss is viewed as the team’s lead back, and he could figure to play a major role given the inexperience of whoever plays at quarterback.
The offensive line remains a work-in-progress. Eston Harris and Trent Jones are each expected to play a role, and several other younger players remain in the mix for a spot.
Youth is a constant for Beauregard on both sides of the ball this season.
Harris will likely start on the offensive line, but it’s his play on defense that will have college coaches calling. The 6-foot-5, 257-pound rising sophomore is a disruptor on the Hornets’ front, and he’ll be counted on to cause havoc on a defense that will likely be trying to find itself early in the year.
Carter also pointed to Justin Smith at middle linebacker as someone who will need to step up.
“He is an extremely strong kid. I think he's got some playing time last year at linebacker. He's an excellent athlete,” Carter said. “He's really getting the game more mentally now. His athletic ability is really good. More of his understanding of the game came through classroom work and that sort of stuff this summer. The defensive staff has done a good job with him.”
Carter anticipates a number of underclassmen working their way into significant roles for the Hornets. His main concern is keeping that in mind as the depth chart is sorted out and inexperienced players learned firsthand the grind that comes with playing on Friday nights.