CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE)- Heading into his 13th season at the helm, Anderson County head football coach Davey Gillum is very excited about this group of kids and believes this team has the potential to go all the way.
“We always have to go out and earn it, but we feel like we can be better than we’ve ever been,” said Gillum. “We feel like this could be our year to get over the hump, get Greenville and Elizabethton and maybe win our first state championship.”
The Mavericks are returning an abundance of players this year, making for an experienced team stacked with talent.
Anderson County’s offense will be led by second-year quarterback Stone Hatmaker. Gillum has high expectations for the senior following an impressive first season under center where Hatmaker claimed all-region accolades. Hatmaker will have several weapons in his arsenal as well, as Anderson County is seemingly knee-deep with receivers this season.
“This year the receiving crops] has a lot of seniors,” said Hatmaker. “They have really good technique and route running, which makes it easy to throw to them.”
Even though the Mavericks lost a majority of their offensive line from last year, Gillum is confident in the talent he replaced last year’s line with.
“They may not overly experienced but talent wise, I think we can be better than we’ve ever been,” said the head coach.
Hatmaker is confident in his line this year, describing the five seniors that replaced last seasons as “super athletic,” tall, fast and strong.
One of the key playmakers on that line this season is Stone Cummins. An all-state player, Gillum has high expectations for the senior deeming the offensive lineman as the hardest working and strongest kid he has ever been around.
Replacing Cummins at tight end, Knox Catholic transfer Zach Shannon is expected to have a big year.
The Mavericks plan to run a spread offense. With skilled players in every position on offense, the Mavs will be fairly balanced this season, varying between running and passing the ball with solid schemes that accent that.
“We’re going to try and develop a true balance through the course of this season so we’re ready for the playoffs when they come,” said Gillum.
Gillum’s optimism for his group of guys this season continues on the other side of the ball, saying their front seven on defense has true potential to be the best the team has ever had.
“I think it’s going to be hard to score on this defense,” said Gillum.
The absence of scrimmages leaves a big whole for football coaches across the state, and Coach Gillum is feeling the affect. Without seeing his team perform in a game-like setting, nor without any film on the team’s early matchups against Clinton and Powell—Gillum says going into the first couple of games “blind” is nerve-wracking.
“I’ve never started a season feeling so unprepared,” said Gillum.
Regardless, Gillum is excited about the experienced and talented team this year.
“I mean, we’ve got to get in game shape and have to execute at a high level, but on both sides of the ball we could be better than we’ve ever been,” said Gillum.
The Mavericks are set to face their cross-town rival Clinton on Friday August, 21.
The team will be without their starting strong safety Anthony White after getting injured in a scrimmage in practice,. White is expected to miss the first couple of games.