With two weeks remaining until kickoff, the A.C. Flora Falcons are already ahead of the game.
In their fourth year under coach Dean Howell, the Falcons’ preseason learning curve has been shortened by familiarity and experience.
“We’re starting to see the fruits of them being with us for four years and knowing what we want to do,” Howell said.
Although they have had to replace their quarterback and line from last year’s powerhouse offense, the Falcons are confident
“The thing about last year is we were really deep, so we had some really good kids playing behind some other really good players, and this year those are the guys who are stepping in for us,” Howell said.
The Falcons also lost half of last year’s wide receivers duo, but returner Schroder Carlton will not be without help.
“We have George Roach, that’s my man, stepping up there, and Shelton Whitaker made a big deal at Heathwood Hall and I think he’s going to be a big deal for us,” said Carlton, a senior who last year accounted for nearly 1,000 receiving yards. “If one of us goes down, (our offense is) not going to skip a beat.”
“We have so much depth at receiver, it’s almost like they wouldn’t need me,” Carlton said.
That is hardly the case, Howell said.
“We got Schroder back and that’s huge because he can do so much for us. He’s even probably an emergency quarterback for us.”
Starting under center will be Jake Lewis, who served as a defensive back last year.
“It’s Jake Lewis’ spot to lose, and he’s looking good,” Howell said of the senior who quarterbacked the Falcon junior varsity for two seasons. “He looked really good throwing the ball. He’s been really impressive passing.”
Carlton is looking forward to working with Lewis, as the pair have been teammates since childhood, most recently on the Falcons’ state championship baseball team.
“It’s a big transition from Stephen (Cagle), but there’s just something about me and Jake, we just work really well together,” Carlton said.
Howell says this year’s team is “ahead of the ball. We’re adding little things that last year we didn’t put in until the end of preseason.”
“That’s the fun part about,” Carlton said. “It’s like it’s the same stuff, we’re just smarter.”