Tallwood RB Gunner White heads up the field (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
Tallwood held their annual Gold/Purple scrimmage Saturday
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
The Tallwood Lions sprinted to a 5-1 record in 2018, but a 1-3 finish left them at 6-4 on the season. That was good enough for a playoff berth, but as the No. 8 seed, the Lions drew Oscar Smith in the opening round and made a quick exit from the postseason.
The goal this year is to improve on the 2018 season, and look for a deeper playoff run in 2019.
“We have a bunch of guys who are real disciplined and real dedicated to what we’re doing. We’ve had a real good showing since day one (of practice),” said Tallwood head coach John Kepple. “We’ve done a good job of getting to the playoffs, and we want to make that next step. We lost a lot of really good players due to graduation, but we have some good guys coming back and some young guys really stepping up and filling in. We have a couple of freshmen who could end up starting for us this year.”
Coach Kepple mentioned that rising junior running back Gunner White (2021 RB 5-9 180) could be the key to the offense, along with offensive lineman Tyler Halliday (2020 OT 6-3 300), tight end Thomas Nattania (2021 TE 6-0 190), Defensively, All-Beach District nose guard Michael Moore (2020 NG 6-1 275) returns, along with defensive back Darrien Henderson (2020 DB 5-11 185). Ziontay Palmer (2020 DB/WR 5-9 165) and D.K. McElvin (2021 RB/LB 5-8 175) return and will play both ways for the Lions.
“(We look to be) mentally sound, physically ready to go. We’ve worked hard since January, through off-season conditioning. We have to be physically ready and mentally ready: knowing what we need to do and being able to execute plays,” said the coach.
The Lions open with Green Run at the end of the month and that’s a game that was played in two segments last year. Storms postponed the game after it started. When they resumed later in the season, Tallwood had to fight for a 22-21 win in triple overtime.
“It was a tight game (last year). I expect it will be a dog fight.”
– Andy Hilton