published Friday, August 16th, 2013

2013 - North Jackson Chiefs

North Jackson Chiefs

Coach: Tony Johnson (first year here, 1-9 overall)

Last year: 7-5, losing twice within the region to finish third. The Chiefs reached the second round of the Alabama Class 4A playoffs before losing to Oneonta.

‘13 dreams: It was a long and frustrating offseason with former coach Shawn Peek being let go after the season and his replacement, David McKinney, resigning just before the start of spring practice. Tony Johnson was hired during the summer and inherits a team with just four starters back on each side of the ball and a large sophomore class that likely will do a lot of playing. Despite all the turnover and inexperience, Johnson admits he still expects the program to continue its winning tradition.

13-for-13 contenders: Junior C.J. Cobb (5-foot-8, 170) will be a first-year starter at quarterback in Johnson’s new multiple offense. As he gains a grasp of the offense, he’ll need linemen Robert Pylant (6-2, 240) and Mykel Meeker (6-0, 260) to protect him and receivers Steffan Tolliver (6-2, 170) and Brett Barbee (5-8, 170) to step up.

Number of interest: 20. The number of sophomores who will start or at least play a lot this season.

13 years ago: The Chiefs had three running backs with more than 600 yards for the season, including quarterback Steven Allison, who also threw for more than 650 yards. The team earned the program’s 100th all-time victory, winning the Region 7-4A title, and finished with a 9-2 record.

Program superstition: As Chiefs players and coaches exit the locker room to walk toward the field, each one reaches up to touch the simple slogan “Win” that is painted in red letters against a black background over the doorway.

1-through-3: Junior quarterback C.J. Cobb

Q. How tough was it to have last year’s head coach let go, his replacement leave abrupty and to have to go through spring practice without knowing who your coach would be?

A. It was pretty rough. Especially to have one new coach just ride out on us like that. But we all have a lot of respect for Coach [Sam] Houston (the school principal who served as coach through spring practice). He didn’t have to be out there with us like that, but he did because he cares about us and the program. He kept us together and that meant a lot.

Q. What was the biggest difference in Coach Johnson from previous coaches, and how did he gain the team’s trust?

A. He’s a lot more organized. He makes you feel like he’s got a plan for everything, and that gives us confidence in him. The first day he stood in front of us he told us he understood that he hadn’t proven anything yet but that he loved us. We knew he meant it because he had moved his whole family here already. That meant a lot to all of us after what we had been through.

Q. What’s the biggest difference for you this year in moving to quarterback?

A. I definitely feel like I have to be more of a leader on the team now. I’m speaking up more because quarterback is a position that demands you do that. It’s just different. But I know I’ve got good athletes around me, so I’m not going to feel like I have to do everything. I just try to encourage everybody to play as hard as they can.

2013 Schedule

Aug. 30 at Fort Payne, 8

Sep. 6 Madison County*, 8

Sep. 13 at Ardmore*, 8

Sep. 20 DAR*, 8

Sep. 27 at Scottsboro, 8

Oct. 4 Butler*, 8

Oct. 11 at Randolph*, 8

Oct. 18 J.O. Johnson*, 8

Oct. 25 at Pope John Paul II*, 8

Nov. 1 Deshler, 8

*Region 7-4A game

2012 Stats

PASSING C-A-I YARDS TDS

Kitt Grider 148-226-9 2,053 17

RUSHING ATT. YARDS TDS

Devonta Hutchins 69 445 8

Dakota Garner 69 373 4

RECEIVING NO. YARDS TDS

Daqwan Lowrance 60 820 11

Austin Blevins 23 443 4

TACKLES SOLO ASSISTS TOTAL

Cody Gass 54 55 109

Jonathan Padgett 64 38 102

Petey Moore 32 38 70

Roster

No. Name Class

1 Tre Talley Senior

2 Omar Brown Freshman

3 Steffan Tolliver Senior

4 K-Ci Hutchins Senior

6 Octavius Matthews Junior

7 Tre Harris Freshman

9 Colton Patton Freshman

10 Chris Evans Sophomore

11 Chase Darnell Sophomore

12 Brett Barbee Sophomore

13 Devan Ballard Freshman

14 C.J. Cobb Junior

15 Matt Johnson Sophomore

16 Seth Selby Sophomore

17 Brody Grider Sophomore

18 Victor Quezada Senior

19 Jonathan Hill Freshman

21 George Owens Junior

23 Caden Grey Sophomore

28 Jonathan Johnson Freshman

30 Cody Dunn Junior

31 Cody Gass Senior

33 Tyler Dunn Sophomore

37 Ryan Seale Sophomore

39 Quentin Dawson Freshman

40 David Melvin Freshman

41 Dylan Barbee Freshman

42 Johnny Marmolejo Junior

45 Trae Franklin Sophomore

50 Triston Richardson Sophomore

51 Robert Pylant Senior

52 Jovon Sanford Sophomore

53 Joe Halverson Sophomore

54 Dakota Atkins Sophomore

56 Dakota Clark Junior

58 Tyler Thomas Junior

63 Stanley Stewart Sophomore

65 Tyreek Dave Junior

68 Chase Culpepper Freshman

69 James Jackson Sophomore

71 Nick Gamble Freshman

73 Dakota Holland Sophomore

74 Rakim Liggins Sophomore

75 Evan Redd Senior

79 R.J. Gibson Sophomore

81 Grey Warr Sophomore

Head coach: Tony Johnson

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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