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August 29, 2013
District, Class 4A, Region 4A South
"We're going to try to do a variety of things throwing and running," says Flowers. Their headliner will be senior Lamont Mayo (5-9, 185), who'll accelerate in a hurry and can break off long gainers effortlessly. Another senior, Lavelle Hawthorne (5-8, 175), won't be easy for defenders to catch either. Sophomore Parrish Howell (5-9, 180) is in the equation at running back and so too are junior Doug Butts (6-1, 180), senior Travaun Satterfield (5-8, 170) and sophomore Demonte Smith (5-10, 180) at wide receiver.
Up front is where the most concern lies with the Bookers. They have a relatively brand new offensive line and it's probably going to take some time for them to understand their assignments, the schemes and develop that chemistry necessary to be an effective unit. They're counting on senior Deterreon Callaway (6-3, 270) to lead them with support from sophomore Jamari Logan (6-5, 330), senior Jon Pazarrlo (6-1, 240) and freshman Brehon Gaddy (6-4, 295).
"We should have pretty good size and speed up front, plus two good corners," Flowers remarked. "We have the potential to be great on defense if we continue to work hard and be aggressive." On the d-line, Pazarrlo, Callaway, Brehon Gaddy and junior Deobleque Powell (6-3, 260) give them big bodies to compete with in the trenches, though they need one to emerge as an immediate impact player.
They're excited about Butts at corner and four others are slated to battle for significant playing time in Mayo, Howell, Satterfield and Hawthorne. At linebacker, senior Karlin Sykes (6-3, 215) is one of the few returning starters defensively who should rack up a handful of tackles, probably more than anyone else on the team. Freshman Anthony Mitchell (6-1, 195) will be a name to remember for the future and a potential next-level prospect depending on how he evolves.
"We are a very young team this year," Flowers admitted. Naturally, Bookers fans have to be patient because instant results are unlikely given the amount of inexperience and new starters on this year's team. Mayo and Hawthorne can make things interesting when they get out in space with the ball, but BTW will need to piece together an adequate line and developing a passing game as well as an attacking mentality on defense.
It didn't help matters that two of the better players for the Bookers, Marcus Carter and Anfreny Yancey, transferred to Lake Taylor, following the exits of Marquise Poole and Aaron Chandler from the year before. There are plenty of athletes walking the halls at Booker T. and Flowers wants to establish an identity right away. With only nine games on the schedule and two bye weeks, it should help as far as rest goes and healing any bumps and bruises.
Matthew Hatfield has covered football and basketball since 2004 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him on High School Sports Talk Saturdays at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.