Due to drastic losses in personnel from last year's team, the Porter-Gaud Cyclones will look like a different football team in 2014.
2013: 4-8 overall, 4-7 in SCISA AAA
Coach: Rick Reetz (Sixth season)
Returning Starters: 6 (1 offense, 5 defense)
Players to watch: LB Travis Barnett, QB Kris Johnson, RB/DB Jeremy Hunt
Head coach Rick Reetz, who is known for his no-huddle, spread offensive approach, is dialing back a bit this fall. The Cyclones will probably lean more to the zone run game as Reetz breaks in new offensive personnel.
"We have one starter back on offense and he's a lineman," said Reetz, now in his sixth season. "For us, the changes are pretty significant. We have to do what fits our personnel and while we will still throw it around some, the run game will be a big part of what we do."
Reetz admits the change will be tough for him as the play-caller but he feels his 2014 team can be successful with the changes.
"We won't have a lineman over 200 pounds but we have more quickness there," the coach says. "We have a good group of skill people as well. Defensively, I think this group could be our best defense since I've been here. So we'll want to be strong defensively and run the football."
Senior Kris Johnson will take over at quarterback this fall, getting the job in June when returning quarterback Steven Duncan transferred to Ashley Ridge. Duncan's transfer forced Reetz to change the offense and Johnson, a receiver and running back last season, took over.
"He will do great, and he can also throw the ball, so we feel good about him. He gets better as he learns more," Reetz said.
Senior Travis Barnett is the team's top returning player. Barnett is a starter along the offensive line and is the top tackler at linebacker on defense.
Senior safety/running back Jeremy Hunt is another veteran leader who will see significant time in the running game.
Seniors Reid Kaplan and Jeb Hines are returning starters along the defensive line who will become two-way players as offensive line starters this fall.
Newcomers expected to make a big impact include sophomore safety Dante Smith, and sophomore linebackers Regan Brown and Eric Jackson.