published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Preps Preview: North Jackson Chiefs

North Jackson senior Austin Blevins, right, will be one of the Chiefs counted on to replace graduated teammate Kahne Cooper.
North Jackson senior Austin Blevins, right, will be one of the Chiefs counted on to replace graduated teammate Kahne Cooper.
Photo by Staff File Photo.

BY THE NUMBERS

6 — School records for senior kicker Cesar Diaz, including most career field goals made (19), longest field goal (50), most extra points (188) and most single-season field goals made (9).

10 — Region 7-4A championships in the last 12 years for the Chiefs. North Jackson has failed to win its league title only twice in the program’s 24-year history.

13 — Average number of wins for the Chiefs the past six seasons.

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 Fort Payne (Thur.)

Sept. 7 at Madison County*

Sept. 14 Ardmore*

Sept. 21 at DAR*

Sept. 28 Scottsboro

Oct. 5 at Butler*

Oct. 12 Randolph*

Oct. 19 at J.O. Johnson*

Oct. 25 Pope John Paul II* (Thur.)

Nov. 2 at Deshler

* Region 7-4A game

NORTH JACKSON CHIEFS

Coach: Shawn Peek (fifth year here, 43-8 here, 83-59 overall)

Stadium: R.D. Hicks Stadium

Address: 45549 AL Highway 277, Stevenson, AL 35772

RECENT HISTORY

The Chiefs rolled through the regular season undefeated, winning all but two games by double digits, in claiming their second straight Region 7-4A title. The first-round playoff game against Cleburne County was tied four times and the Chiefs trailed before scoring late and holding on for a seven-point win. Six turnovers and a blocked punt led to the Chiefs being knocked out in the second round by Fayette County. The final turnover came with 1:20 remaining and the Chiefs trailing by seven. A pass into the end zone was intercepted and North Jackson settled for an 11-1 season. Here’s a look at the regular-season win total for the last five years:

Season 1 5 10

2011 ——————————(10)

2010 ——————————(10)

2009 —————————(9)

2008 ——————————(10)

2007 —————————(9)

THREE STRENGTHS

1) Experience at quarterback. Although he is only a sophomore, Kitt Grider threw for more than 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns last year.

2) Depth in the line. While just two starters return on the offensive line and none in the defensive front four, plenty of talented young players should make this area a strength.

3) Familiarity. The players have been in the spread offense long enough now that confidence is high that they can score on any defense.

THREE CONCERNS

1) Defensive front seven. There are no starters back either on the defensive line or in the linebacking corps.

2) Thin in the skill positions. While there is talent among the starters, this is a team with more linemen than surefire playmakers.

3) Schedule. The Chiefs’ nonregion slate includes two teams from higher classification and another, Deshler, that is a perennial state title contender.

THREE QUESTIONS WITH AUSTIN BLEVINS

(Senior defensive back)

Q: You were a rare freshman starter for one of the area’s best programs. What was that first year like?

A: I got tested a lot. I played cornerback my first year, and teams would run at me and throw at me, so I got a lot of chances to prove myself. I was so nervous in my first game I wasn’t real sure of myself. But after I made the first tackle of the game, I settled in.

Q: You start on both sides of the ball and were the Chiefs’ leading rusher and one of the leaders in interceptions. Which side do you prefer?

A: Defense. I know most people like offense better because you get the ball and can score more, but I like to hit and I love that feeling of getting a pick[off]. I had eight interceptions last year, and that was the highlight for me.

Q: North Jackson has different goals than a lot of programs in the area. How high are the expectations this year?

A: Nothing has changed. We know we’re supposed to play for the region championship and make a run at winning another state championship. That’s what we want every year.


ROSTER

1 Tre Talley - Junior

3 Steffan Tolliver - Junior

4 K-Ci Hutchins - Junior

5 Chase Hicks - Junior

6 Octavious Matthews - Sophomore

9 Chase Darnell - Freshman

10 Daqwan Lowrance - Senior

11 Clayton Raulston - Senior

12 Tay Hutchins - Senior

13 Austin Blevins- Senior

14 C.J. Cobb - Sophomore

15 Austin Peacock - Senior

16 Seth Selby- Freshman

17 Cesar Diaz - Senior

18 Kitt Grider - Sophomore

19 Brody Grider - Freshman

21 Bray Eldridge - Freshman

22 Lataz Smith - Junior

23 Caden Grey - Freshman

25 Brett Barbee - Freshman

26 Greg Chubb - Senior

27 Matt Johnson - Freshman

28 Dakota Garner - Junior

29 Hayden Piercy - Junior

31 Cody Gass - Junior

32 Will Summers - Junior

33 J.R. Hood - Sophomore

34 Tyler Dunn - Freshman

35 Jordan Talley - Freshman

36 Nathan Brown - Freshman

37 Ryan Seale - Freshman

38 Tyler Matthews - Freshman

39 Quinton Dawson - Freshman

40 Donnie Thompson - Senior

41 J.P. Cooper - Sophomore

42 Dakota Clark - Sophomore

43 Johnny Padgett - Senior

44 Chris Evans - Freshman

45 Trae Franklin - Freshman

46 Cody Phillips - Freshman

47 Jade Luckhart - Senior

50 Caleb Rhodes - Senior

51 Robert Pylant - Junior

52 Eric Stafford - Junior

53 Adam Winnigar - Senior

54 Slade Culpepper - Sophomore

56 Anthony Morris - Senior

57 Cain Kenemer - Sophomore

58 Tyler Thomas - Sophomore

62 Myhel Meeker - Sophomore

63 Stanley Stewart - Freshman

64 Russell Hessey - Senior

65 Tyreek Dave - Sophomore

66 Grey Warr - Freshman

67 A.J. Hutchins - Senior

68 Tyler Davis - Sophomore

69 Trevan Cash - Sophomore

70 Petey Moore - Senior

72 Johnny Marmelejo - Sophomore

73 Dakota Holland - Freshman

74 Rakiim Liggins - Freshman

75 Evan Redd - Junior

76 Hank Oliver - Freshman

77 Daokta Adkins - Freshman

78 Thomas Pack - Freshman

84 Rhaley Hessey - Freshman

90 Kyle Crouch - Junior

96 Tyler York - Freshman

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