MAUMELLE: Hornets return talent across field

Conference: 5A West
Coach: Kirk Horton
’16 Record: 0-10

The Maumelle Hornets have a new head coach heading into the fall. Coach David Farr took a coordinator role at Russellville, and defensive coordinator Kirk Horton has been promoted.

Junior Xavion Morgan is back at quarterback after starting most of last season. Junior running back Antavious Henderson will get the majority of Maumelle’s carries. Seniors Byron Wade and Tyric Robinson lead the receivers. Wade averaged almost 100 receiving yards per game last season. Sophomore Jace Hartje also rotates at receiver. Junior Evan Robinson is versatile at H-back. Maumelle sports an offensive line filled with upperclassmen: seniors Melinko Petrovic and Karson Pawelczak and juniors Justin Ruffin, Mason Andrews and Malik Williams.

“We have great skill players,” Horton said. “All of our receivers have speed and can catch really well. We have speed and athleticism in the backfield as well. We will be explosive on offense; we will score a lot of points.”

In 2016, the Maumelle defense lowered its points surrendered per game by 13 points from 2015. Seniors Prince Williams, Jon Marion and Robert Bryles fill out the defensive line. Senior Darius Lawrence swaps between defensive end and outside linebacker. Senior Spencer Simpson is back at linebacker after recording 10 tackles a game last fall. Senior Ted Peoples and sophomore Bryson Duke also rotate at linebacker. KJ Brewer, Charles Spencer, Darius Thompson, Twaun Simmons and Kevin Lowe man the secondary.

“Defensively we are a veteran bunch with many returning starters,” Horton said. “We have speed, size and aggression. Many of our conference foes graduated many good players last year. That being said, teams in our conference are coached well and play hard. Every win in our conference is earned; it is a good football conference.”