Last year marked a new era for Hanover Hawks football.
The second decade of their existence kicked off with a new coach, new offensive skill starters, and a classification all to themselves, Group 4A. They were young, struggled, but found a way, in Hanover fashion, to win when it mattered most, earn a playoff spot, then get a postseason victory before seeing their season end at Lake Taylor.
Now, as 2014 dawns, the Hawks not only move on from departed seniors such as Brennan Gary and Scott Denton, but they also lose Jalen Elliott, a two-sport star (basketball) who saw time at running back, wide receiver and quarterback last year. Elliott transferred to L.C. Bird in Chester back in March.
Second-year head coach Derek Stoudt hands the football to sophomore Clayton Cheatham, who was impressive coming up early last year from junior varsity to anchor the running game after early injuries. At 6 feet 2 inches tall and 204 pounds Cheatham still has room to grow, both physically, and into the signal-caller’s position.
“The intensity is there, we just need to sharpen up a few things,” Cheatham noted, saying the Hawks want to quicken the offensive tempo in 2014. His experience last year, he says, will certainly help now.
“Coming in as a freshman is hard, coming from middle school is a whole different game. It speeds up a lot,” Cheatham explained. “Last season slowed the game down for me. I realize now that I can go out there and have fun playing football.”
Read the full story in the Aug. 28 Herald-Progress. Call (804) 798-9031 or signup online to subscribe today.