06 Aug 2016 SEARCY: Lions prowling for winning season
Conference: 6A East
Coach: Mark Kelley
’15 Record: 6-5
After consecutive losing seasons, Searcy and new head coach Mark Kelley marched into the 6A playoffs after a 6-4 regular season finish.
Quarterback Andrew Neaville — a 501 Football Team selection in 2015 — has graduated, leaving a bit of a question mark at the position for the Lions. But there’s no question at running back as senior Camron Washington returns. Washington rushed for 218 yards and two scores last fall. Senior Trevor Rayburn (260 yards in 2015) and junior Trenton Turner (127 yards and three touchdowns) return to lead the receivers. There’s also no question on the offensive line as all five starters return: senior Flave Carpenter (left tackle), senior Peyton Fisher (right guard), senior Brendan Adams (left guard), junior Jacob Barker (right tackle) and junior Ty Haralson (center).
Seniors Chase Hughes, Darius Gavin and Collin Shelby; junior Zack Bookwalter; and sophomore Tanner Thomas make up the defensive line rotation. Senior DeAirus Whitney — a 501 Football Team honoree — leads the way at linebacker. Whitney racked up 73 total tackles in 2015. Other linebackers include seniors David Peel and Tristan Jasso; juniors Tyler Brackenridge and Rainey Joyner; and sophomores Ben Donnell and Nicholas Jones. Senior Jackson Hall leads the defensive secondary as a three-year starter. The cornerback deflected nine passes and recorded 42 total tackles last fall.