by Kyle Parmley
The 2016 season was one that will not soon be forgotten in the history books of the Hewitt-Trussville High School football program.
An explosive offense that averaged 46 points per game, coupled with a more-than-adequate defense, resulted in the first perfect regular season in school history.
“It was definitely a fun year for us,” said head coach Josh Floyd, now entering his fourth year. “It’s good to see the fruit of the labor of these kids. It’s been good for them to see success.”
A heartbreaking loss in the second round of the state playoffs left many wondering what could have been, but that in no way diminished the impact of the season. Under Floyd’s guidance, there is no doubt the program is on the rise.
“As far as the wins and losses go, our program has been heading in the right direction,” Floyd said. “It was fun to see a championship season, to be able to win the region championship for the fi rst time since 2008.”
But it’s time to turn the page. New faces will emerge and take on leadership roles, as the Huskies lost 29 seniors from last fall’s group.
“Every single year is different,” Floyd said. “Nothing matters at this point, good or bad. Everybody in the state is 0-0. But if there’s any pressure [to sustain the program’s success], it’s a good pressure.”
Hewitt-Trussville opens the season in the Champions Challenge jamboree against Pell City, with other non-region games against Holy Trinity (Florida), Center Point and Florence.
In Class 7A, Region 4, the Huskies will host Gadsden City, Buckhorn and Sparkman and will take road trips to Grissom, Bob Jones, Huntsville and James Clemens.
For the second year in a row, Hewitt-Trussville’s offense looks to be led by a Mountain Brook transfer. Connor Adair came in last fall and did tremendous things with the Husky offense, and Paul Tyson looks to accomplish the same this year.
“I’m really excited about the QB position,” Floyd said. “Paul is getting some big-time offers, but the thing about Paul is he’s a really good leader.”
Seth Shelnutt and Grey Ryle are next in line under center, but Ryle’s skill set is valuable enough that the Huskies may line him up at wide receiver and running back in certain packages.
Elliott McElwain led the Huskies in receiving last year from the running back spot, even with Noah Igbinoghene on the outside. McElwain’s versatility out of the backfi eld will be needed once again, and Floyd compared him to Grayson Cash, who played a handful of positions in his time at Hewitt.
Antonio Reed is another player who will contribute signifi cantly out of the backfi eld, and Cameron Bledsoe made great strides in the offseason to throw his name in the hat as well.
Hewitt will have to replace the production provided and attention attracted by Igbinoghene on the outside. Logan Pitts put together a solid junior season last fall after coming off a torn ACL suffered in the first game of his sophomore year.
“I think he’s going to take off,” Floyd said.
Dazalin Worsham is a sophomore who has begun to catch scouts’ eyes, and Floyd said he is tough to cover one-on-one. Malachi Moore is another sophomore who can play receiver and cornerback. Senior Lee Reagan, one of the leaders of the receiver group, should also garner some touches. Derrion Walker will play some snaps at tight end for the Huskies.
Hewitt-Trussville returns Ben Adams, a two-year starter at center, and tackle Pierce Quick as full-time starters, along with Cooper McManic, a tackle who started a few games last fall.
The Husky defense allowed more than 30 points just twice in 2016, but in both games the team won by more than three touchdowns. It was far from a liability and, more often than not, was a strength. Four times the Huskies held the opponent under 20 points.
There are many contributors to replace but enough valuable returners to expect much of the same this fall. Along the defensive line, Hunter Davis will be asked to anchor the group in the middle. Maurice Williams, Christian Renda and Tyler Antkowiak are names that are expected to emerge along the line as well.
In the second level, the conversation revolves around linebacker Simon Miskelley, who will be a three-year starter.
“He just makes plays,” Floyd said. “He brings a lot of energy to practice.”
In the secondary, safeties TJ Alexander and Trevor Sisk are back. Sisk is versatile and can move down to play like a linebacker when needed. Creed Parker is another name to watch in a secondary that will see some others make names for them along the way, including Myles Mason, a likely impact transfer from Pleasant Grove.
Parker Colburn has been Hewitt-Trussville’s do-it-all specialist for the last two years and is only entering his junior season. He has proven to be a great replacement for TJ McGettigan, who is now at UAB.
Colburn will handle all the kicking duties, and Floyd has no doubt he will fi nd an opportunity at the college level one day. “I look for Parker to have a huge season,” Floyd said.
Head coach: Josh Floyd
Overall record: 121-41-1
At Hewitt-Trussville: 22-12
Tenure: 4th season
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line: Caleb Perry
Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers: Rodney Bivens
Tight Ends: Stuart Floyd
Running Backs: Juan Johnson
Offensive Line: Jake Garrett
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers: Rudy Griffin
Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs: Ben Ramer
Defensive Line: Scott Bromley
Special Teams/Defensive Ends: Chad Dahlke
Defensive Backs: Dallas Coleman