Coach: Orlando Gray, second season (2-9)
2017 Record: 2-9, 2-5 Southwestern 4A
Returning Starters: Offense, 8; Defense, 8
Second-year head coach Orlando Gray and some of the coaching staff didn’t come onboard until June 2017, and putting in new offensive and defensive schemes was a learning process for the Ravens. But that should pay dividends this season as Rocky River returns skilled players on both sides of the ball, including Division 1 prospects in linebacker Jaylon Sharpe and wide receiver James Maye.
Things started to click midway through last season and Rocky River ended 2017 with two wins. Gray is expecting that momentum to carry over into this season.
Gray said Maye has world-class speed and will be a top target for returning senior quarterback Brent Jones. Seniors Lydell White and Shemar Hayes and sophomore Kacee Sinclair will also be threats catching the football.
Senior Gabriel Linen is getting reps at running back, but Gray said several players will tote the ball. Korion Sharpe returns to the offensive line after starting as a freshman a year ago. Gabriel Palacios is another sophomore who played on the offensive line last season.
“Those guys are big and talented,” Gray said. “Those are two guys that we are looking for to be pretty good this year.”
Jaylen Sharpe will anchor the defense at linebacker. Sharpe has already been offered scholarships by 12 schools, including Louisville, West Virginia and Syracuse.
Zyone Easterling, who earned all-conference honors as a sophomore and a junior, returns at safety.
This is probably the biggest question mark heading into the season as several players are being looked at to handle the kicking duties.