published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Preps Preview: Hixson Wildcats

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    Photo by Staff File Photo.
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Fan’s guide to this year’s Hixson Wildcats

Coach: Jason Fitzgerald (First year here, 66-48 in his 10 years) Stadium: Anthony Martino Stadium Address: 5705 Middle Valley Road, Hixson, TN 37343

Three strengths

1) While the loss of running back Clarencio Holmes leaves a huge gap in the running game, the Wildcats have a pair of newcomers they may trot out to fill the void — freshman Tyrik Twitty and transfer Isaiah Robertson. Neither Twitty nor Robertson have competed in a Friday night setting.

2) Led by sprinter Allante Novene, a relays state medalist for the Wildcats last year, the receiver corps is an area where Hixson could prosper.

3) Rather than two coaches in the building for the school day, Hixson will have five. Most head coaches like having their assistants in the school to interact with players throughout the day.

THREE CONCERNS

1) There is only one starter, Chance Loy, back on the offensive line, but there are a half-dozen candidates the coaching staff feels good about and three others who have a chance to contribute.

2) Versatile Justin Mathieson graduated, leaving the quarterback role to untested Gil Brown, a Wildcats baseball player, and Preston Wilkey. Fitzgerald says their battle could continue into the early part of the season.

3) Overall team speed is listed as just OK. While it is better than most of the teams he coached at Rhea County, Hixson will be stacked up against teams in a league where speed is often a specialty.

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    Allante Novene
    Photo by John Rawlston.
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Three questions with ...

ALLANTE NOVENE

(Senior receiver)

Q: What goals have you set?

A: As a team, to have a winning season and go to the playoffs. Personally I’d like to be the [area’s] No. 1 receiver in receptions and yards.

Q: How are things going with Coach Fitzgerald?

A: Pretty good. We have built a solid relationship in the short time we have had together.

Q: What’s the most important thing about high school?

A: A lot of the experiences you will have that will help you in life. So much happens that you need to know. It’s also about making friends and memories.

BY THE NUMBERS

3 — Games won before the Wildcats lost in 2011, averaging 44.3 points in that 3-0 start. However, they lost a last-second heartbreaker to Red Bank in the fourth game and never really recovered, losing six of their last seven.

4 — Hixson head coaches since the turn of the century: Dan Duff, Todd Windham, Houston White and now Fitzgerald. The first three left of their own accord and now are coaching in Georgia.

6 — Years since Hixson reached the state playoffs. The 2005 Wildcats went 6-5 under Windham.

Recent history

Then-coach Houston White felt last season could be special if the Wildcats got off to a good start. They did, opening 3-0, but the wheels fell off in Game 4 when they surrendered two fourth-quarter scores after turnovers, the last coming with 14 seconds remaining. Hixson crumpled, losing five of its next six games and three of those by a touchdown or less.

Here’s a look at the regular-season win total for the last five years:

Season

2011 ————(4)

2010 ——(2)

2009 ———(3)

2008 ————(4)

2007 ——(2)

2011 stats leaders

RUSHING Att Yards avg TD

Clarencio Holmes 193 1282 6.6 12

Justin Mathieson 99 749 7.6 7

PASSING Comp-Att Yards Int TD

Justin Mathieson 44-89 786 9

RECEIVING Att Yards Avg TD

*Allante Novene 7 223 31.9 3

TACKLES Solo Assists Total

Alex Shuford 52 33 68.5

Clarencio Holmes 48 18 57

Justin Mathieson 31 19 40.5

*Austin Gilkey 19 13 25.5

*returning player

Schedule

Aug. 24 Walker Valley

Aug. 31 Howard*

Sept. 7 Marion County

Sept. 14 at Red Bank*

Sept. 21 at DeKalb County, 8

Sept. 28 at Tyner*

Oct. 5 at East Hamilton*

Oct. 12 at East Ridge*

Oct. 19 Brainerd*

Oct. 26 Central*

*District 6-AA game

Games start at 7:30 except where noted.

Roster

1 Allen Diaz Junior

2 Nick Beatty Sophomore

3 Eric Jones Senior

4 Issac Yates Freshman

5 T.C. Cunningham Senior

6 Chris Nicholson Sophomore

7 Darion Nicholson Junior

8 Zach Jimmerson Junior

9 Quinton Russell Junior

10 Josh Zumbrunn Senior

11 Gil Brown Junior

13 Joel Salazar Freshman

16 Preston Wilkey Sophomore

17 J.R. Walker Junior

18 Jamar Greene Senior

20 Jordan Johnson Sophomore

23 Tyrik Twitty Fresshman

24 Preston Steele Sophomore

25 John Ferris Freshman

26 Dylan Bargerstock Freshmana

27 Blake Oakley Freshman

28 Chris Cunningham Junior

29 Dallas Barnett Freshman

30 Hunter Koblentz Freshman

31 Spencer Waites Junior

32 K.C. Shelton Junior

33 Allante Novene Senior

34 Kedrick Bradley Junior

36 Konnor Zeigler Freshsman

37 Joey Cena Sophomore

38 Cameron Riggler Freshman

39 Gary Keylon Freshman

40 Caleb Quillen Junior

42 Austin Gilkey Junior

43 Isaiah Robinson Junior

46 Lorenzo Lewis Junior

50 Chance Loy Senior

51 Charles Franklin Junior

52 Drew Weaver Junior

53 McKenzie Martin Sophomore

54 Robby Touchstone Junior

55 Jake Duncan Senior

56 Jared Armour Sophomore

57 Keegan Green Sophomore

58 Tim McClung Freshsman

59 Will Webb Freshman

60 Jacob Bird Sophomore

62 Xavier Coleman Sophomore

63 John Green Sophomore

64 Jaylon Brooks Sophomore

67 Rasaan Sanders Junior

70 Jason Alford Senior

71 Matthew Morrison Freshman

75 Cory Evans Sophomore

76 Ryan Turner Sophomore

77 Garrett Wheeler Sophomore

78 Anthony Kring Junior

80 Miguel White Senior

81 T.J. Norman Junior

82 Brandon Peardon Sophomore

83 Trey Coleman Freshman

85 Jacob Rogers Junior

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