Baxter: Swansea finds a healthy outlook

06/29/2014 8:44 PM

06/29/2014 10:02 PM

INJURIES FORCED A setback for the Swansea Tigers in 2013. The 2014 team will bring back solid talent and the hopes of putting a region championship challenger on the field.

“I'm excited about the 2014 season,” Tigers coach Chad Leaphart said. “We return most of our skill position people on offense and defense from last season. The potential of this year’s team is great, but we will need to work hard to realize it.”

On offense, the Tigers return senior quarterback Clay Lucas. It will be his second season as the starter.

Chance Walker, Austin Fowler and Craig Johnson will give Lucas solid targets at wide receiver.

Up front, the protection will come from senior offensive linemen Gauge Miller at center, BT Saunders at tackle and William Hutto at guard.

Running back Quaevon Cannon is a newcomer who should boost the offense.

Defensively, the Tigers return seven starters to the lineup. The defensive line will need to mature quickly, since no starters are returning. Look for junior Mason Ray and senior Ty Jeffcoat to anchor the ends of the front line, while junior Jordan Smith will be at nose guard.

All-state linebacker Jonathan Sutton returns after an injury ended his 2013 season. He will be joined by fellow all-stater Craig Johnson, and seniors Chris Brunswick and Will Edmond, for a very strong group.

The secondary returns three starters with junior cornerback Thomas Walker, senior cornerback Brandon Walker and senior safety Tyquan Austin.

“We will need our young O-linemen and D-linemen to step up this season for us to have success,” Leaphart said, “but we have a chance at being a very good football team.”

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