Crusader Football Season Preview: Part One
Tigerville, SC – The 2014 season of Crusader football is just around the corner as head coach Jeff Farrington enters his second season at the helm of the program. Despite a sub-par 5-6 record last season, Farrington and his staff have high hopes for their sophomore campaign on the field.
North Greenville returns seven starters to an offense that averaged 412.5 yards per game and 27.9 points per game, while also returning seven starters to a defensive unit looking to mature after starting six freshmen during the 2013 season.
In Part One of our Four-Part Season Preview Series, we look into the experienced Crusader backfield where the starting quarterback and top two running backs return for a dynamic offense.
Quarterbacks: The Crusaders will begin 2014 with a familiar face under center as junior Nelson Hughes returns after a sophomore season in which he set numerous school records including completion percentage (66.6 percent) and passing yards (3,202) while totaling 24 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions.
Incoming freshman Will Hunter (Lexington, SC/Lexington HS) will complete for playing time after a successful high school career which saw him throw for over 10,000 yards for 101 passing touchdowns while rushing for over 600 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground, while sophomore transfer Mike Calabro provides a strong arm, depth and experience after spending a season at Florida Atlantic University.
Running Backs: The Crusader backfield will also be an area with recognizable faces returning to the field for North Greenville as the team’s top two rushers from 2013 return as well as some fresh faces looking to make an impact. Junior Trey Walker started all 11 games a season ago, leading the attack with 170 carries for 877 rushing yards, including three games going over the century mark, and seven touchdowns, while proving his versatility in the passing game with 30 receptions for 230 yards and three scores through the air.
Sophomore Simeon Byrd also returns after totaling 324 all-purpose yards and five total touchdowns in nine games played, while fellow sophomore Ashton Heard provides speed, agility and versatility to the backfield after being fully recovered from a knee injury. Incoming freshman Tristen Jackson looks to make an impact after totaling over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 16 total touchdowns as a senior at Jefferson High School (GA).
The Crusaders open up the 2014 season at home when they host Ave Maria University on Thursday, Sept. 4 in Younts Stadium at 7 p.m.