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Goose Creek High School
Goose Creek

Gators optimistic in spring

 

By Rob Gantt

Special to the HSSR

GOOSE CREEK - Spring football practice has been met with positive energy at Goose Creek High School.

“It’s kind of a rebirth,” Gators coach Chris Candor said. “Everybody is undefeated. Everybody still has dreams of a region championship and a state championship. We’ve made some changes in the coaching staff that I think will benefit us. They’re positive changes. We’ve got a lot of excitement at practice.”

The Gators were snake-bitten in 2016, finishing 3-8 with a slew of close losses. So many weeks came down to one or two plays and it seemed the Gators couldn’t make them.

Like any team at this point, they’re aiming to fill spots left behind by the graduating seniors. One positive on both sides of the ball for Goose Creek is the return of key linemen.

Offensive tackles Troy Aratan and Dalton Smith are back and Tremaine James is an offensive guard with experience. Former offensive guard/tight end Danny Faulk has moved over to the defensive front but his versatility could help.

The quarterback battle is coming down to the heir apparent Matt Lewis and newcomers Tavion Major and Jake Chapman. Lewis, who played quarterback on B-Team and JV, has been dinged up with a knee injury so the other two have gotten more work during spring. Major’s athletic ability makes him a wild card in the quarterback race.

Dante Smith and Amaru Sheppard are the top running backs and speedster Corey Lucas steps into the wide receiver spot and figures to get touches on jet sweeps.

“He’s a home run threat,” Candor said.

Brandon Taylor’s work ethic has him in line to play another wide receiver spot.

“He’s 100 percent from the beginning of what you’re doing to the end,” Candor said.

On the other side of the ball, defensive tackle Keyshawn Mays, defensive end Anthon Williams, hybrid Emilio Wilson, defensive end LJ Stanley, Faulk and newcomer defensive tackle Deshaun Holley make up the better part of a group that could be the Gators’ strong suit.

“We’re going to be a solid two-deep up front,” Candor said. “We’ve got some guys up there that can really go.”

In the middle, the Gators have a handful of guys competing for starting spots but it’s a wait-and-see thing, Candor added.

On the back end, safeties E.J. Eadie, James Wilson and Anthony Martin are another strong group.

“They’re all physical,” Candor said. “They’re all 6 feet or taller and will come up and strike you.”

Julian Lawrence and Adarius Ford are the starting corners.

Kicker Blake Ellington is a returning specialist.

 

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