FanFare 2018 - Page 103

Q.T. Barker (8) is expected to fight for a wide receiver spot with the Cardinals this season. enough for the last five straight years to be the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. There is no letdown now. We have to keep it going, so we will be looking to make it our sixth straight No. 1 seed into the playoffs this year. We want to pick up where it has left off, and there is no pressure. You don't want to follow the guy who was the guy, and I am following the guy who has led off to five straight conference titles. Hopefully, we can keep things rolling. It is just the pressure that you put on yourself to keep these kids in situations to have success and move them on. We have our kids here to graduate, win championships and to move on with scholarship offers.” When it comes to a shortage of starters on both sides of the ball, Poteete said he is not worried about that area in the media guide. “We may be short on returning players, but we played a lot of young kids last year,” Poteete said. “We also had a great spring with them and that really has me looking forward to this season.” On offense, the Cardinals return three linemen in Caleb Johnson, Josh Donovan and Cyrik Ransom. “Offensively, we have a lot of the offen- sive line back. That is one of the things last year is that we were old at the skill po- sitions,” he said. “We are going to go how our O-Line goes this year. We have a lot of those guys returning back, and guys who have experience. We are expecting big things out of them, so that bodes well for our offense.” Those three players will be asked to help quarterback Colton Atkinson and run- ning backs Aphonso Thomas and Antonio Davis. His top returning receivers are Dhailon Phillips, Brayten Kubecka along with Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, Deshon Moreaux, Malakoff's QT Barker and R.J. Breggs, Jr. “We have a great mixture of speed and athleticism both on the outside and in the slot,” Poteete said. “With the playmaking ability here, we will need to get the ball in their hands as much as we can.” Atkinson played in four games throwing for 281 yards, while rushing for 131. “I think that was a valuable experience for him, so he will bring that playing time with him as we head into the new year,” the coach said. “I am excited about the players who were brought in to that posi- tion. I think we signed some really good high school kids at the quarterback posi- tion. We are looking forward to that.” The high school talent has Malakoff's Judd Miller, Riley Russell and Lamar Farris looking for playing time. Offensive Coordinator Rashad Jackson takes over the role left by Poteete. He will 103