Pre Snap Read
Coach: Drew Witman, third season
2016 Record: 4-7, 1-2
The last two seasons have been a transition since Witman took the helm, but things are starting to click with the players and coaching staff. A combined seven wins from 2015 and 2016 doesn’t show it, but a winning culture is coming back to the program. The Buccaneers should begin to make strides and close the gap with their opponents on the field this fall.
Country Day is spread-oriented, but knows it must run the ball well to be successful. Its offensive linemen have been the most consistent group thus far, despite losing five to graduation. However, they remain the biggest question mark with much room to grow.
Seniors Justin Ayotunde and Bobby Farnham have the versatility to fit in as a guard or tackle, while senior Keaton Prevette can play center and guard. Junior Triston Miller is an athletic offensive tackle. Juniors Coulter Calhoun, Holden Bobb and Trent Mulligan are expected to contribute up front, too.
Senior Connor Fewin played H-back last season, but is expected to spend most of his time on defense. Junior John Demas has the potential to help at H-back, while junior Stephen Lostetter and senior Wes Bingham also might see action there.
The starting quarterback job is up for grabs. Bingham and senior Tyler Shearer both saw significant varsity action there last season. Junior John Calhoun, who performed well for the JV in 2016, has moved up and is vying for the job, too. Country Day also is looking for a more athletic skill player to plug in as a wildcat quarterback.
Sophomore Tim Newman returns at running back as a vital component to Country Day’s offense. He runs with toughness, balance and vision. He is the feature back, but the Buccaneers are going to share the load.
Sophomore Quintin Cooper is another reliable ball carrier, while junior Rylan McLaurin and sophomore Twan Flip are key pieces to the offense as all-purpose backs with their ability to run and catch. Senior running back Owen Hunter will get some touches, too.
Senior Broadus Roberson (6-foot-3 and 190 pounds) and junior DeAngelo Epps (6-foot-4 and 205 pounds) are big, athletic targets that can high point a football, stretch the field and use their size to physically overwhelm most defensive backs. Senior William Hamil should help at slot receiver.
Country Day will operate out of a 4-3 as its base defense, but shift in and out of multiple schemes.
The Bucs must replace six defensive linemen, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Miller has the potential to be a force at defensive tackle. He’ll be joined in the trenches by David Lange, Mulligan, Ayotunde, junior Julian Swann, Farnham and Prevette. The coaches are just waiting to see who fits where.
Fewin is a savvy leader as the starting Mike linebacker. Senior John Hosmer is another proven contributor at linebacker. Junior Graham Mitchell is back at outside linebacker after starting there last season. Demas and sophomore Thomas Shields will help at linebacker, too.
Roberson, a safety, anchors the secondary. McLaurin and Hamil are experienced cornerbacks. Sophomore Stephen Payne is another quality defensive back.
Sophomore Edward Dellinger steps in at kicker and punter, and is expected to thrive in those roles. Fewin also can punt. McLaurin and Roberson will return punts. Both will return kicks, too, along with Flip.
In the Spotlight: Connor Fewin
Fewin has a powerful personality and appears capable of taking on a large mantle of leadership responsibilities. He played at a high level last season, but must step up more in his final campaign with the Bucs. Fewin is a versatile playmaker with the ability to impact a game on both sides of the ball.
– Ben Doster