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Lanier Longhorns 2011 Football Preview

Lanier Longhorns 2011 Football Preview

— Mascot: Longhorns. Coach: Billy Wells (0-0 at Lanier, 16-7 overall) Region: 8-AAA Div. B Last playoff appearance: N/A

Offense

Though the Longhorns technically have only four returning starters, they will welcome back two more who were slated to start for them before being injured early on.

Juniors Michael Diaz, currently battling fellow junior Taylor Grant for the starting quarterback job, and Donte Borders (pictured), who will step back in at tailback, are healthy again and ready to add to the young Longhorns' depth.

"We're very fortunate to have both those guys back," Lanier coach Billy Wells said. "They bring athleticism that we missed last year."

Diaz's return could be particularly important, as Wells said he is hoping either he or Grant will bring stability and leadership to the offense.

"Quarterback play will determine (how far the offense progresses) this year. Those two guys are pretty competitive. A lot of our success will be determined by who wins the job."

The return of Borders, plus senior receiver Jordan Humphrey, should give whoever wins the quarterback job weapons to work with.

But perhaps the biggest asset the new signal caller will have "1 quite literally "1 is a much larger and much more experienced offensive line, especially the right side, where sophomore Brian Krause (6-2, 260) and junior Chauncey West (6-2, 245) return a year stronger and wiser, along with senior center Hendhi Agenor (6-1, 210).

Defense

The defense returns even more starters from a year ago than the offense "1 eight in all "1 and like the offense, has expectations of taking another step forward.

If they are to do that, Wells will be looking to the middle for linebackers Jesse Landers, Isidore Sam and Kelby Threlkeld to lead the way.

"We'll rely on that linebacker corps to help carry the load," Wells said. "The defensive side does have some experience returning, and we're expecting them to perform better.

The line and secondary will have some new faces, but should still be better seasoned with the return of juniors Jake North and Andre Johnson up front, as well as Onyx Berrios and Brandon Ramos in pass coverage.

2011 Schedule

Sept. 2 Hapeville Charter

Sept. 9 at Mountain View

Sept. 15 at Meadowcreek JV

Sept. 23 at Union County

Sept. 30 Duluth JV

Oct. 6 Collins Hill JV

Oct. 13 North Gwinnett JV

Oct. 20 Norcross JV

Oct. 21 at River Ridge

Oct. 28 St. Francis

2010 results (2-7)

Mill Creek (JV) L 35-7

Mountain View L 55-7

at Meadowcreek (JV) W 41-10

at P'tree Ridge (JV) L 29-22

Duluth (JV) L 17-0

Collins Hill (JV) L 21-0

North Gwinnett (JV) L 35-0

Norcross (JV) L 24-7

Mountain View (JV) W 34-0

Friday night lights

While last year's inaugural season was quite the learning experience for the Longhorns, Season 2 may be even more so.

After playing just one varsity game a year ago, this year's schedule will much more balanced, with five varsity games.

Perhaps more importantly, a total of six games will be played on Friday nights, instead of Thursdays, which Lanier got used to playing on during its junior varsity-dominated schedule a year ago.

"Our kids are excited to have Friday night games," Wells said. "That's a big part of high school football. It's the next step in working towards region play next year. And not only are the players excited, the coaches and parents are all pretty excited, too."

This year's varsity slate includes an interesting mix of first- or second-year teams like Lanier (Hapeville Charter and River Ridge) and more-established schools from lower classifications (Union County from Class AA and St. Francis from Class A).

"In trying to secure games, we're in the middle of two-year contracts," Wells said. "So, it's hard to secure games. ... But this (schedule) will be a good gauge to see where we're at. What we hoping for is to take a step forward and be more competitive."

Larger herd

While Wells expected some of the biggest benefits going from Year 1 to Year 2, a year to get more experienced and physically stronger, another was a more pleasant surprise "1 at least, this soon.

"At spring practice last year (2010), we had maybe 60 players," Wells recalled. "This year, we doubled it. That's a huge shot in the arm in terms of participation. With more numbers, that increases our competitiveness on the field."

-David Friedlander

PROBABLE STARTERS

Offense

QB Michael Diaz (5-10, 160, Jr.)

or Taylor Grant (6-0, 170, Jr.)

TB Dante Borders (5-9, 175, Soph.)

FB Ricky Viengxia (5-11, 180, Soph.)

WR Kelley McCoy (6-0, 175, Sr.)

WR Jordan Humphrey (5-11, 175, Sr.)

TE Dominick Jones (6-1, 180, Jr.)

LT Anthony Adeniyi (6-2, 250, Sr.)

LG Jake North (6-0, 240, Sr.)

C Hendhi Agenor (6-1, 210, Sr.)

RG Brian Krause (6-2, 260, Soph.)

RT Chauncey West (6-2, 245, Jr.)

K Gemosiah Vang (5-11, 170, Sr.)

Defense

DE Jake North (6-1, 220, Jr.)

DT Anselmo Huerta (5-10, 210, Soph.)

NG Andre Johnson (5-9, 190, Jr.)

DE Anthony Adeniyi (6-6, 205, Jr.)

WLB Jesse Landers (6-1, 180, Soph.)

MLB Isidore Sam (5-9, 195, Jr.)

SLB Kelby Threlkeld (6-1, 185, Sr.)

CB Onyx Berrios (5-9, 160, Jr.)

CB Marcus Avelino (5-9, 160, Jr.)

SS Brandon Ramos (5-11, 170, Jr.)

FS Jordan Brannen (5-9, 175, Jr.)

P Gemosiah Vang (5-11, 170, Sr.)

Lanier Roster

1 Grey Lee Willams WR/DB 10

2 Marcus Avelino CB/RB 11

3 Onyx Berrios CB/WR 11

4 Austin Westfall WR/DB 11

5 Isidore Sam LB/RB 11

6 Canyon Cook QB/DB 9

7 Michael Diaz QB/DB 11

8 Zachary Winzurk WR/DB 12

9 Bernard Nuckles RB/DB 9

10 Taylor Grant QB/DB 11

11 Kelby Threlkeld LB/RB 12

12 Trenton Little LB/RB 10

13 Roy Wanjohi WR/DB 12

14 Stefan Ball RB/DB 9

15 Kevin Clark RB/DB 12

16 Robert Hicks WR/DB 10

17 Justin M. Jenkins WR/DB 11

18 Daniel Scott WR/DB 9

19 Abraham Cha RB/DE 10

20 Cody Pitts LB/WR 11

21 Brandon Ramos SS/RB 11

22 Gemosiah Vang K/P 12

23 Kelley McCoy WR/DB 12

24 Donte Borders TB/DB 10

25 Ryan Edwards K 10

26 Kevin Wagner DB/WR 10

27 Domonick Jones TE/DB 11

28 Jordan Humphrey WR/DB 12

29 Daniel Larkin WR/DB 10

30 Ricky Viengxay FB/DE 10

31 Chad Henderson LB/RB 10

32 Jordan Brannen FS./RB 11

33 Bryton Bergman LB/RB 11

34 Jonathan Green RB/DB 10

35 Zachary Garner LB/RB 10

36 Allen Walls WR/DB 9

37 Josh Phelps WR/DB 12

38 Alex Joyner DB/WR 9

39 JaCorey Holder DB/RB 9

40 Stephen Rowe TE/DE 10

42 Joseph Adeniyi LB/RB 11

44 Jesse Landers LB/TE 10

45 Tario Fuller LB/RB 9

46 Stephen Rusch TE/LB 12

47 Chase Wilson TE/DE 10

48 Adarius Griffin RB/LB 10

50 Hendhi Agenor C/DE 12

51 Brandon Anderson OL/DL 11

52 Spencer Mendoza OL/DE 12

53 Anthony Adeniyi OT/DE 12

54 Ryan Dorsey OL//DL 12

56 Jake North G/DE 12

57 Anthony Mauricio OL/DL 11

58 James Hanrahan OL/DL 10

62 Ben Lewin OL/DE 10

64 Greyson Davis OL/DL 9

65 Andre Johnson NG/OL 11

66 Christian Jaggie DL/OL 10

68 Anselmo Huerta DT/OL 10

70 Justin H. Jenkins OL/DL 10

71 Chauncey West OT/DL 11

72 Mitchell Bennett OL/DL 10

74 Adam Hubbard OL/DL 9

75 Jacob Gimotty OL/DL 12

76 Brian Krause G/DL 10

77 Darius Daniels DL/OL 9

78 Kevin Hubbard OL/DL 9

79 Luke Wilder OL/DL 9

80 Jacob Toth WR/DB 10

81 Trevon McSwain WR/DE 9

82 Bolaji Ojolola WR/DB 9

83 Timothy Leazer WR/DB 9

84 Ben Brown TE/DE 10

85 Kevin Meuse WR/LB 12

86 Nick Adeniyi WR/DB 10

88 Justin Metcalf WR/DB 10