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Manning High School

Manning football using spring to solidify new OL, DL positions


By Justin Driggers

Special Correspondent


Manning – There has been a fair share of weather-related postponements in recent weeks and teams have had to adjust.

Count the Manning High School football team among them as practices and even the spring game have been washed out.

Coach Keith West said the spring game was likely to be rescheduled, but in the meantime the Monarchs are in the process of filling in a couple big holes from last season.

“We lost three senior offensive linemen who were a big part of our success the last few years,” West said. “So we went into the offseason looking to fill those three spots. Those were the main spots we needed to address.”

Payton Nelson, Dequan Johnson and Quay Briggs all graduated – leaving a void along an o-line from a Monarchs squad that has tried to be balanced under West.

It appears as if two of those spots have already been solidified, however, as sophomore Anthony Hilton and senior E.J. Fulton have taken the reins, West said.

Hilton and Fulton will also fill key cogs along the defensive line along with returners Chris Livingston and Jamir Stukes. Livingston will take his place at center on offense and at linebacker on defense while Stukes will line up at defensive end.

The other two areas on the team that require some retooling are in the receiving corps and in the secondary. David Fulton and Jordan Brock have graduated, but West expects returnees Aaron Smith and Corey Graham to step into bigger roles on both sides of the ball.

“Those guys got a lot of experience last year and really came on for us at the end of the season, so we expect them to continue to produce for us in our passing game,” West added.

Aside from that, Manning returns the majority of its offensive weapons from a year ago. Quarterback Jack Owens is now a senior and the Monarchs return a stable of running backs in Cam Cain, Darias Williams and Caleb Wright.

West is counting on that experience to help Manning avoid another late-season slide like it had last year. MHS started the season 6-0 before dropping five of its last six games.

The Monarchs finished 7-5 overall and lost to Wade Hampton in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.

“All of our games were very competitive and very tough games,” West said. “We’re just looking to take that next step, finish high in the region and make a run in the playoffs.


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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