Secondary developing for Hawks

Huntingdon returns two senior starters in the secondary. First-team All-Conference selection Jarrett White (left) returns at cornerback and Charlie Jones (right) is back at safety.
Huntingdon returns two senior starters in the secondary. First-team All-Conference selection Jarrett White (left) returns at cornerback and Charlie Jones (right) is back at safety.

Head Coach Mike Turk on the first day in full gear: "We had to leave the field for about an hour because of a lightening delay this afternoon. We hadn't really started yet, but we had to come back in and sit in here for an hour. We went back to the field, but I'm not sure mentally that we ever went back out. It was pretty lackluster for a full pads practice.

"It's like I told the guys, this may happen to us in a game. If the weather forces you to come in and turn your motor off, you have to be able to turn it on again when it's time to play. So hopefully we will learn from this."


Position Spotlight – Defensive Backs                                

Projected Starters:  Cornerbacks – Jarrett White (Sr.) and Kaiman Smith (So.)

Safeties – Charlie Jones (Sr.) and Peyton DeFleron (So.)


A Closer Look: The Huntingdon secondary has a little bit of a new look this season, but the Hawks have the same high expectations for the group.

Despite having to replace five seniors, including second-team All-Conference selections Anthony Wood and Demetrius Beverly, the unit returns an experienced nucleus. Senior Jarrett White, a first-team All-Conference pick last season, is back at cornerback and senior Charlie Jones returns at safety.

White led the team with five interceptions and seven passes broken up last season and was seventh on the team with 31 tackles. His five interceptions are tied for the fourth most in a season by a Hawk. Jones, who moved into the starting lineup early last season, tied for fifth on the team with 46 tackles and also had two interceptions.

Sophomore Kaiman Smith leads the way at the other cornerback position and sophomore Peyton DeFleron is the frontrunner at the other safety position. Both players saw action as freshmen last season.


Turk on the starting unit: "We have a pretty good level of experience. Jarrett and Charlie are the most experienced guys we have back but we also have Peyton and Kaiman back. Peyton got a lot of work in the preseason last year and played some for us and has continued to progress. Kaiman played in every game last year, and played quite a bit, and has continued to improve in the spring and the preseason."

Turk on White and Jones: "Both of them are good players and good leaders. We've had a hard time completing passes on Jarrett the entire preseason. He makes us better on defense and having our offense working against him makes our offensive guys better.

"The thing about Charlie is he stepped in and made a difference for the team last year. When Demetrius Brown got hurt last year, Charlie answered the call. He had not played a lot up to that point, but we didn't miss a beat with him. He played really well all year and made a lot of plays for us. I'm really proud of the way he has continued to develop."


Others to Watch: S - Bailey Reece (So.), CB – Ke'Darius Thornton (So.), CB - Kelvin Bowser (Fr.), CB - Fred Flavors (Fr.)


Turk on developing depth in the secondary: "We've got a handful of young guys that we think are going to be able to help us. Bailey Reece is one of the guys we're looking at as a third guy at safety. He didn't play a lot last year, but he had a good spring and has done pretty well in preseason camp.

"At cornerback, we have three young guys we think are going to be pretty good. Kelvin Bowser has done some good things and Ke'Darius Thornton is a guy that didn't play a lot last year but he has had a good spring and fall. Fred Flavors is another freshman, who is real smooth on the field and seems to be catching on to what we're trying to do."


Next Practice: The Hawks return to the field at 9 a.m. on Monday. Practices are open to the public.