Crawford wants Mt. Hermon to compete

Published 8:08 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2012

For the third time in the history of the Mt. Hermon four-year football program, the Yellowjackets will have a new head coach. Henry Crawford, who has been an assistant there from the start, takes over for the departed Gwynn Holmes. Chris Fussell was Mt. Hermon’s first coach and the Yellowjackets competed for district honors for the first time last year in tough District 7-1A.

“It is still a young program because this is the third head coach in the four years,” Crawford said. “We have a football team but we hadn’t been able to establish an actual program. That makes it difficult especially with the few numbers we got.”

“We need kids to be committed and dedicated to working hard in the weight room. Making excuses to try and get out of coming to practice has got to stop. The mentality of the program has to change to compete against people who do have a successful program. A dedication level is missing.”

Mt. Hermon was 2-8 overall last season and went winless in district. The Yellowjackets have eight seniors on the roster and expect to dress about 30.

“Our kids now think football begins in August and ends in November when you have to be preparing all the time for football,” Crawford said. “We had a lot of freshmen come out so hopefully that means our future looks a little better.”

Mt. Hermon moves to the Flexbone after utilizing the Pro I and spread in the past.

“We have a small play book and we are going to try to learn it right and run it well,” Crawford said. “I just didn’t feel good about our offensive line play the past couple of years. I felt like we didn’t know how to block, who to block or just couldn’t block so we will try some pulling and trapping to help us out this year.”

Senior Alex Winters takes over at quarterback and will be joined in the backfield by senior Brandon LaPharoahs and junior Lamont Brownridge at running back. Seniors Bryan Ortiz and Anthony Brumfield are the slot backs and freshmen Bruce Fiffie is the wide receiver.

Senior Joel Brumfield returns to center along with senior Tyler Lindsey and junior Chris Wilkerson on the offensive line. Senior Matthew Bolotte rounds out the line.

Mt. Hermon will probably run a 4-4 defensive front because of a swell in defensive lineman.

“We are probably not going to do anything too much more complicated,” Crawford said. “Last year, I believed it was a necessity to play a three-man front because you don’t want many of them going both ways.”

Joel Brumfield and Lindsey will see time on the front along with senior Skyler Riley, junior Arion Dillon and freshmen Marshaun Dillon. LaPharoahs returns at inside linebacker and will be joined by Wilkerson with Ortiz and Brownridge returning to outside linebacker. Anthony Brumfield, Fiffie and senior Sy Falgout round out the secondary.

Mt. Hermon opens the season hosting Class 2A playoff advancing Springfield and Haynes Academy before traveling to Ridgewood of 1A and West Lincoln, Miss. After hosting parish rival Pine of Class 2A, the Yellow jackets open district play by hosting regionalist Christian Life.

The Yellowjackets then travel to regionalist Kentwood and playoff advancing Archbishop Hannan after hosting regionalist Southern Lab before wrapping up the regular season by hosting parish rival and playoff advancing Varnado.

“This season is going to be rough,” Crawford said. “Hopefully, we can get off to a good start and build some momentum. I don’t think we competed very well in district last season. We have to learn to overcome adversity and not complain or blame other people because bad things do happen.”