Howell hopes Cathedral Academy reverses its luck

Quarterback Christian Rogers is a fourth-year starter for Cathedral Academy. (Mark Prynkiewicz/

The Generals of Cathedral Academy suffered plenty of tough luck during the 2013 season. While posting a 4-6 overall record, the Generals lost three times on the last play of the game. Third-year coach Rick Howell is hoping to turn around a few of those close losses this fall.

"We feel like we were very competitive last year, but we had some things go against us," said Howell, a former all-Big South Conference offensive lineman at Charleston Southern. "We return some good players and I feel like we will once again compete. We have a good core group coming back. If we can avoid the late-game mistakes, we will certainly be a team, I think, that can have a winning record. We should be a pretty competitive eight-man football team."

The Generals return a handful of starters, including four key seniors who are the backbone of the program. Senior Christian Rogers is at quarterback after playing running back last fall. Rogers is a fourth-year starter for Howell.

Senior Niko Brace anchors the defense at middle linebacker and will play some running back. Brace is a three-time all-state selection with more than 400 career tackles. Senior Drew Murray, last year's quarterback, will play on the perimeter this fall as well as at outside linebacker on defense. Senior Tyler Williams is a fourth-year starter at defensive end.

"Those four guys have played an awful lot of football for us and we will be counting on them to shoulder the load for the younger guys," said Howell.

Returning as the team's top offensive lineman is junior Jake LeCroy. LeCroy weighs about 170 pounds and Howell says the Generals will be light up front.

"We're fairly quick but we're going to be smaller up front than anyone we play," Howell said.

"We work hard on the fundamentals. We're a run-oriented football team this year so we try to get those guys to be good at what we do. We have some weapons offensively if we can give them a little room to operate."