Defense. Defense. Defense.
That just might be the mantra heard over and over again this fall about Spencer High School’s 2017 football team.
Last year’s 6-5 record (3-2 region) led the Greenwave to the first round of the playoffs. The season also gave some valuable experience to players who will be returning on both offense and defense, but it is the defense that has fans talking.
Seven returning starters from the defense will shore up Spencer head coach Pierre Coffey’s team this fall. Among those veteran players is linebacker Davonte Webster, who was the team leader in tackles, making 70 tackles during the season. Webster, 6’2” and 205 lbs., is a college prospect for the Greenwave and also is one of the team’s top academic players.
Also returning is interception leader Ameir Abrams. Abrams (FS) is 6’1” and 180 pounds and had three interceptions last season. Joining him as returning starters on defense are Bryce Webster (SS), 6’2” and 200 lbs., Robert Murray (DE/DT), 6’3” and 265lbs., Fletcher Jordan (DB), 5’11” and 165 lbs., Sam Soli (DL), 5’10” and 230 lbs., and Eric Gibbs (DL), 5’9” and 300 lbs.
There are also seven returning offensive starters. Wide receiver Cory Calhoun, 5’11” and 170 lbs., was Spencer’s leading receiver with 28 receptions for a total of 586 yards. He was also the leading for scorer for the Greenwave, scoring 11 touchdowns. Other players returning on offense as wide receivers are Seth Jordan (5’10” and 155 lbs.) and Raekwon Jackson (6’0” and 170 lbs.). Jaharee Mons, 5’9” and 175 lbs., and Johknotter Hill, 5’9” and 200 lbs., are returning as running backs for Spencer. Onaje Wheatt (OL), 5’11” and 250 lbs., is a returning starter and also has the highest GPA on the team.
Coach Pierre Coffey has led the Greenwave to the playoffs the past two seasons and had athletes sign to play the sport after their days at Spencer are over. Others who might be joining that elite group beside Devonte Webster are Bryce Webster, Fletcher Jordan, Cory Calhoun, Ameir Adams and quarterback Dy’javius Nathan.
In fact, that is one of Coffey’s three main goals as head coach; to have athletes sign college scholarships. He strives to give his players exposure to the college experience by providing opportunities to attend camps and make college visits.
Coffey’s other two goals for the 2017 season include making a third straight trip to the playoffs and to win region. The expectations from the Greenwave Nation are high for the team, but their head coach also sees the potential for more than just a season with more wins than losses.
“This team is expected to make a surge past the first round of the playoffs, with the added returning experience,” said Coffey.
Staying with what works, Coffey’s team will continue with a spread offense and 4-2-5 defense. However, there are a few changes in the program, mainly in the form of two coaching staff additions. Christopher Perkins is now the OL Coach and Marcus Carter has come on board at the JV Head Coach.
Coffey also is taking a few notes from the past two seasons. His coaching staff is providing more of a discipline approach in the program and he has been working on “building a team that works together and believes in each other to succeed.”
The bottom line for the Greenwave (which also has another mascot, the Owl), is that 2017 should be a very good year. There is definitely talent and a desire to win. It also helps to have some good, old-fashioned rivalry to get things stirred up. The upcoming games against Carver, Crisp County and Callaway should be interesting and support for Spencer is running high in the community.
Columbus Valley/Fall Football Preview/August 2017
Spencer High School
By Beth Welch