"We’re trying to be just as good as we were last year, or even better.”
2016 was a season to remember for Iowa. The Jackets swept the district for the title and made a run to the quarterfinals for a 2nd straight year. Despite nine starters returning, the leadership will have to be replaced on offense.
“The two guys that we lost, Joseph Figueroa and Andre Sam was kind of the heartbeat of our team. That’s two guys that you just don’t go out and replace every day. That’s the two critical positions we need to fill to get moving offensively.”
The Iowa offense will still be potent. Thanks to returning talent like quarterback Dyami (DEE-AH-ME) Huntsberry, receivers Fleming and Nixon and all 5-offensive lineman.
“Towards the end of the year last year when that group started jelling together it showed in the playoffs and the things we were able to do late in the season like I said, when you have five back and we have three or four guys that are key backups that are going to play some that are going to get quality reps that's where it's all based around is our offensive line.
Defensively, the team will take a hit losing their entire defensive line. All 5 departing seniors were all-district players.
Markail Nixon: “We got big shoes to fill on defense. Most of our secondary came back, we lost Andre, but we have a backup that played a lot last year so it should be easy for the secondary. But D line we got big shoes the fill.”
The team will look to McNeese commit, free safety Darious Daniel to run the defense.
“The free Safety is usually the head of the defense. So, you gotta know everything and what you’re doing and all that stuff.”
Tommy Johns takes over head coaching duties after serving as the Jackets' defensive coordinator. Even with a new coach, expectations are high. Johns and Iowa embrace the challenge of being a favorite.
"You’ve got the target on your back. That’s what we’ve been preaching to the guys all off-season. The targets on our backs and you better work that much harder so that we can have a successful season.”
Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.