Anthony “Tank” Jones enters his third season as Notasulga’s head football coach with a solid group of seniors going after their straight playoff appearance under Jones.
The Blue Devils have 15 seniors on their 34-player roster going into their Thursday, Aug. 24 opener against Reeltown at Sanderson-Knapp Stadium in Notasulga. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. with tickets $7 each.
Five are those seniors have previously been starters.
Notasulga has been eliminated from the playoffs the past two seasons under Jones by Linden — both times in the second round of Class 1A post-season action.
The Blue Devils finished 8-5 last season after Jones’ first NHS team compiled a 9-3 record in 2016.
Jones believes the Blue Devils are poised for an excellent season if a young offensive line can get the job done.
“They may be young, but they had a good spring and summer. I’m eager to line up Thursday and see what they can do,” Jones commented.
At center will be either sophomore Tyquan Daniel or senior Tra’Von Dryer (5-9, 205). The guards will be Jon’Travious Wright (junior), Darius Carter (senior, 5-9, 190) and Terel Crayton (6-0, 194), an 8th grader. Expected to line up at the tackles are Jon Temple (senior, 6-1, 264), Jaheim Greer (sophomore, 6-4, 240)) and Elisha Smith (sophomore).
Veteran senior TraDarius Ezell (6-0, 192) returns at quarterback with sophomore Daryl Brown (5-9, 175) and Booker T. Washington High transfer senior Keldric Adams (5-6, 166) at the running backs. Senior Willie B. Ferguson will line up at fullback.
Wide receivers expected to contribute are Walter Tatum L. Tatum, a senior with all-star credentials, senior Keywun Rowles (6-2. 180), junior Jimmy Pitts (5-9, 135) and senior Mark Battle .
Rowells is also a tight end.
Tatum will also return kickoffs and punts, something he did last year when he produced several touchdowns as a returner to go along with playing some at running back on offense.
The Blue Devils have to replace all-state running back CJ Cook, who signed to play college football at Alabama State.
On defense, Rowles and Brown are expected to line up at the ends, junior Kanion Mitchell , Wright and Daparious Foster (5-9, 193) at the tackles and senior Jon Temple, Carter and Wright at nose guard.
Expected be at the linebackers are Brown, senior Rodd Zeigler (6-0, 187) and Ferguson. Cornerbacks will be Pitts, senior Fredrick Stinson (6-1, 160) and sophomore Ta’dalrion Kendrick.
Lining up at the safeties will be senior Walter L. Tatum (number 23) and freshman Walter Tatum (number 10).
Rowles will handle punting duties while Daniels is the place kicker. The Tatums will return kickoffs and punts.
The Blue Devils will run a multiple offense and defensively will line up in a four-man front.
Notasulga competes in demanding Class 1A, Region 3 that three-time defending state champion Maplesville. Also in the region are Isabella, Loachapoka, Highland Home, Autaugaville and Ellwood Christian.