Despite Weaver losing nearly half its starters on offense and defense, coach Daryl Hamby has his choice of younger kids that are just as fast.
“We’re really fast. That’s something that we’ve got,” running back and outside linebacker Chris Trogé said. “No one can keep up with us.”
Hamby, who didn’t shy away from commenting on his team’s athleticism, was quick to also point out the Bearcats need to cut down on penalties and turnovers as well as saying Weaver has “a lot of heart.”
“They get after it and don’t like to lose,” he said. “They’re a team that’s fun to coach and you can do a lot with this team. The sky is the limit because a lot of the guys can do a lot different things.”
Doing different things will be big this fall, and players will need to be able to possibly grasp a new defense. Hamby said the Bearcats, which normally run a 3-4 defense, may show different looks from week-to-week to throw off regularly played opponents.
“It could be more situational with who we’re playing and what they like to do,” Hamby said. “What we do is scout the team, decide how we want to defend them and then go from there.”
Offensively, there’s little question who will lead Weaver -- quarterback Timothy Hawkins. Hamby said the three-year starter was injured a majority of the 2012 season, adding “a healthy Timothy Hawkins is dangerous.”
“I’m really looking forward to him putting the ball in the air a lot,” Hamby said. “He’s grown so much from the time I got here until now. He’s such a tremendous athlete and someone who will be playing at the next level.”
Offensive linemen Dalton Heath and Jonathan Jones are two guys Hamby said he’s looking to have big seasons from. Paul Hubbard, Darrel Mathis and Trogé are three skill players that the coach is looking forward to producing, as well.
“Everybody is just ready to play,” Hawkins said. “We have different attitudes and everyone has come together as one. We’re just going to play as a team.”
With Hawkins being a leader on the offense and between-the-tackles bully Trogé on the rise, Hamby said he wants Weaver to establish more of a run game this season.
“We didn’t a good job of establishing our run last year for whatever reason that might be,” he said. “Doing better with the run will open things up on the edges more and create harder matchups.”
The Bearcats enter the fall after missing the playoffs for the first time since Hamby took over in 2010. Hawkins said the way to overcome missing the playoffs is by not taking any plays off this year.
However, Hamby doesn’t want the glamour of the postseason distracting Weaver from the task at hand. The coach has a slightly different goal than finishing in the top four of Class 3A, Region 5.
“My goal is strictly the team we’re playing,” he said. “I never look ahead and if you asked me who we played second I probably wouldn’t even know. That’s the way I’ve always been no matter what sport it is.”
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star Weaver at a glance Head coach: Daryl Hamby (16-16 in three years at Weaver)
2012 record: 4-6, 3-4 in Class 3A, Region 5; finished fifth in Region 5; missed playoffs.
Outlook: It’s no secret that Weaver is faster than most opponents, but the Bearcats just have to utilize their strength. Quarterback Timothy Hawkins enters the season as a healthy three-year starter and has multiple targets around him. Weaver made the postseason in 2010 and 2011 before just missing the playoffs last year. If the Bearcats play the way they are capable, they may be back playing in the second week of November.
Aug. 30 at Cleburne County
Sept. 6 vs. Glencoe
Sept. 13 at White Plains
Sept. 20 at Susan Moore
Sept. 27 vs. Jacksonville
Oct. 4 at Cleveland
Oct. 11 vs. Saks
Oct. 18 at Ashville
Oct. 25 vs. Piedmont
Nov. 1 at Wellborn