Baxter: Airport returns talented skills players

08/03/2014 6:48 PM

08/03/2014 7:06 PM

THE AIRPORT Eagles have suffered through two consecutive losing seasons, going 4-6 two seasons ago and 3-7 last year. But the Eagles’ players and coaches are not allowing it to affect their ambition for the 2014 campaign.

This could be the Eagles’ best set of skills players on both sides of the football in a several years, and they have all been working hard in the offseason to right the ship.

After playing young last season, the Eagles return four starters to the offense. Leading the charge will be senior quarterback K.D. Jackson, who had a strong showing as a junior last season.

He will be joined up front by senior offensive linemen Haden Tolbert and Martinez White, who will be flanked at tight end by junior Alec Spooner, who could also see time on the interior line, as well as defense.

Defensively, the Eagles will be stout, returning seven starters, including four seniors. Up front for the Eagles will be senior defensive end Stan Jones as the lone returning starter in the trenches.

The linebacker group will be strong with junior Zach Feaster, junior Andrew Chavis, and senior Darius Hart.

In the secondary, junior Tarik Khurmah, senior Roosevelt Jenkins, and senior Keon Singleton are the returners.

Returning on special teams is senior kicker/punter Bradley Nelson, who could be one of the best specialists in the region.

There are several new starters who got playing time last year and are expected to have an impact this year. Leading the way for that group is junior running back/linebacker Jonathon Earl. Several players will step up at the wide receiver position, including sophomore Kerryon Richardson, sophomore CJ Wright, who will also see time at safety, junior Josh Tucker, and junior Osiris Hairston. Senior Nick Wilson will join the linebacker group and senior Micah Grayden will step in at fullback.

The Eagles’ non-region schedule will begin with Brookland-Cayce. Airport will play the Bearcats again later in the season, which will count as a region game. They also will face Dreher, Lower Richland, Richland Northeast and A.C. Flora in non-region matchups.

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