New St. John's Christian Academy football coach John McCall likes his chances this fall, if his team's effort over the summer has been any indication.
ST. JOHN'S CHRISTIAN
Coach: John McCall (First year)
2013: 3-7, 2-5 SCISA 8-man
Players to watch: RB Tyler Rose, QB Dustin Parsons, QB Josh Carter, WR Robbie O'Dell
"I'm really happy about our effort over the summer," the new coach said. "The guys have worked really hard to get ready for the upcoming season."
McCall hit the ground running after SJCA headmaster Eric Denton tabbed the alumnus in late May to guide the program at the Moncks Corner school.
"We're very excited to have someone like John McCall," Denton said. "He is one of our own, a graduate of St. John's, and a former player and coach here as well.
"He knows a lot about the game of football and can relate well with the kids. We expect big things from John as we move forward."
The Cavs finished a disappointing 3-7 playing SCISA 8-man football in 2013. McCall approaches the Cavs' Aug. 29 season opener against James Island Christian with guarded optimism.
"I like our chances," he said. "I think we're going to surprise a few people this fall."
McCall looks to have a roster between 18-20 players once school starts. He sees former Timberland football player Tyler Rose as a major cog in the SJCA offense this fall.
"Tyler's a running back that we expect great things from," he said.
McCall hasn't named a starting quarterback as preseason practice began, but he likes the battle shaping up between last year's starter under center, Dustin Parsons, and Faith Christian transfer Josh Carter.
McCall said whoever doesn't get the job will be on the field somewhere.
"These are two really talented athletes and they've battled it out all summer. They're making my decision a difficult one. Both Parsons and Carter are too talented not to be on the field at the same time."
Robbie O'Dell has proven to be a quality target for whomever calls the signal under center.
"Robbie has played very well so far this summer," McCall said.
This season marks the Cavs' third season playing 8-man football since making the jump from 11-man football in 2010.
"I played 8-man football and I also coached 8-man football before we moved up to the 11-man game," he said. "The field is a little narrower at 40 yards in width, but it's the same game. You catch the ball; you run the ball and you block and tackle. It's not that big of an adjustment."