The Shoemaker Grey Wolves made history last fall, now they’re on the hunt to repeat history.
In 2013, the Grey Wolves made school history by finishing third in district and making it into the playoffs for only the second time since the school opened in 2000. Shoemaker is hunting for its first consecutive trip to the postseason this upcoming year.
“We want to keep this thing rolling,” Shoemaker head coach Channon Hall said. “We feel like we have the guys and girls on campus to make this athletic program keep growing and going forward.”
In order to make a return trip to the postseason, Shoemaker has to replace some talented seniors that played their last game in November. The Grey Wolves begin spring football practice today.
Spring football is all about preparing for fall practice and here are five areas where the Grey Wolves will look to find replacement for talented seniors who will graduate later this spring:
The Grey Wolves had experience at cornerback with Oregon State signee Dwayne Williams at cornerback and safety Darnell Everett at safety.
Williams, an all-state first-team selection, was a ball hawk with 10 interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, while Everett was a District 8-5A all-state selection.
Sophomore Desmond Brown and Patrick Slider look to fill in those positions. Brown has started a handful of games during the last two years and Hall was impressed at how Slider progressed as a junior varsity safety last year.
Brown also had an interception last season.
University of Texas-El Paso signee Ziere Banner left an imprint on the program after completing 256 of 432 passes (59 percent) for 2,351 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was the district’s third-leading rusher, finishing with 1,091 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Junior Demetrius Taylor backed up Banner last season. He has the most varsity experience and will have the first crack at the starting spot, but there will be a competition for the spot.
“We have three guys, based on what I’ve seen so far, that are capable of doing it,” Hall said. “Demetrius Taylor is going to get the first shot; he won seven games on JV last year. He’s not the biggest kid, but he can definitely play some football.”
Taylor is listed on last season’s roster at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds and Hall added that if the team needs to go to a quarterback-by- committee, the team would.
Tarleton State signee Malik Clemons had 119 tackles and garnered first-team 8-5A defense honors as a linebacker in 2013, but the Grey Wolves have their inspirational leader coming back in Teneak Hall.
“Malik was our solid guy, very consistent, but Teneak was our leader,” Hall said. “You can ask anybody on that team and they’ll tell you the same thing.”
Teneak had 128 total tackles, including 83 solo and nine for loss, to go along with seven sacks and two interceptions.
Banner had two big targets to throw to in Nahome Anderson and Qwoy Blunt last year and the new quarterback faces developing chemistry with two new targets.
Anderson, an all-state selection, signed with Texas State, while Blunt signed with Southwest Oklahoma State. The duo combined to catch 91 passes for 1,875 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.
Juniors Devante Teauge, Robert Fischman and Noah Fulinara will have a bigger role in the passing game as seniors in 2014.
Fischman is Shoemaker’s leading returning receiver, with four catches for 60 yards last season.
Rayshun Spearman was listed on the team roster as a running back, but he was a big weapon anywhere he lined up.
Spearman averaged more than 8 yards per rush and finished the season with 853 yards on the ground.
Derek Thomas could prove to be as versatile as Spearman this season. He’ll likely be listed at wide receiver, but is athletic enough to play a variety of positions.
“He’s probably going to be the best athlete on the field and we could put him at a couple of different spots, so we’re excited about him,” Hall said.
Hall added that in addition to Thomas, Isaiah Everett, Corey Wilson and Zakerrius Walker also have the ability to line up at either running back or wide receiver.
Thomas and Everett amassed 247 all-purpose yards last season.