published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Preps Preview: Ider Hornets

Ider's Hunter Townson poses in the Times Free Press studio in this file photo.
Ider's Hunter Townson poses in the Times Free Press studio in this file photo.
Photo by Jake Daniels.

BY THE NUMBERS

8 — Average total of wins the last three seasons. After the program had struggled for several years, Coach Tinker has the Hornets expecting to contend for the playoffs each season.

5 — Returning starters on the offensive line. Whoever takes over as the main ball carrier will have plenty of help up front.

4 — Road games during a five-week stretch, including three road region contests that could determine the Hornets’ playoff chances.

SCHEDULE

Aug. 31 Addison

Sept. 7 West End*

Sept. 14 at Westbrook Christian*

Sept. 21 at Fyffe*

Sept. 28 at Cherokee County

Oct. 5 Section*

Oct. 12 at North Sand Mountain*

Oct. 19 Gaston*

Oct. 26 at Sand Rock*

Nov. 1 Sylvania

* Region 6-2A game

IDER HORNETS

Coach: Brent Tinker (10th year, 39-56 here and overall

Stadium: Wayne C. Hardman Field

Address: 1064 Crabapple Lane, Ider, AL 35981

RECENT HISTORY

With a stout offensive line led by all-state right tackle Hunter Townson, the Hornets used a power run game to qualify for the 2A playoffs once again. Senior running back Teague Whitaker carried most of the offensive load, helping Ider win seven regular-season games. The Hornets traveled to Oakman in the first round and never recovered after falling behind early, making a second straight first-round exit. Here’s a look at the regular-season win total for the last five years:

Season 1 5 10

2011 ———————(7)

2010 ———————(7)

2009 ——————————(10)

2008 ———(3)

2007 ———(3)

THREE STRENGTHS

1) Offensive line. All five starters return, led by UT-Chattanooga commitment Hunter Townson.

2) Defensive line. The four starters up front are back, making up a stingy unit to run against.

3) Overall experience. The Hornets have six starters back on each side of the ball, and this group of seniors has advanced to the playoffs the previous three years.

THREE CONCERNS

1) Linebacker. There is very little depth or experience after all three starters from last year graduated.

2) Unsettled at quarterback. The Hornets will use a two-QB system for the first time under Tinker. Junior Wayne Hyler is a dangerous runner, while senior Landry Gaddis a better passer and probably has a better overall handle on the offense.

3) Secondary. The defensive backfield is very young and inexperienced.

THREE QUESTIONS WITH HUNTER TOWNSON

(Senior offensive lineman)

Q: You’re 6-foot-4, 280 pounds. Have you always been the biggest kid in your class?

A: Not at all. I was actually one of the smallest in my whole class until junior high. Around eighth grade I got to be about 5-6, then 5-8, then by the next year I was 5-11 and then 6-3. I just grew real fast over a couple of years.

Q: Once you realized you had the ability to play at the next level, what was your biggest concern with recruiting?

A: That college coaches wouldn’t be able to find me all the way in Ider. Most people don’t really know where it is or how to get there, so it was a real worry that they would never find me or think that someone from a small school could play in college.

Q: The backs get a lot of attention for scoring, so what motivates offensive linemen?

A: The pride of putting somebody else on their back and making the hole for our backs. I take a lot of pride in having the coaches’ faith to run behind me.


ROSTER

Roster

1 Wayne Hyler

2 Caleb Higdon

3 Matthew Collins

4 Trevor Phillips

5 Justin Abernathy

6 C.J. Smith

7 Jacob West

10 Dillon Read

11 Trevor Peek

12 Landry Gaddis

14 Kyle Toney

15 Ty Dobbins

20 Dylan McMahon

21 Austin Carter

22 Blake Sweeton

24 Devin Dobbins

25 Tyler Downer

28 Elijah Smith

29 Houston Ward

30 Noah King

32 Josh Simpson

34 Alex Woods

35 Andrew Woods

36 Kade Richey

42 Tyler Ogle

44 Levi Goolesby

45 Jarett Palmer

50 Daniel Wilson

51 Chris Wells

52 Levi Durham

54 Justin Abernathy

55 Ethan Durham

58 Tyler Still

60 Justin Lea

61 Elijah Edgeworth

65 Justin Bearden

66 C.J. Smith

70 Hunter Townson

71 Alex Gilbert

74 Cody Swanson

75 Darick Phillips

77 Sawyer McKay

80 Matthew Tyler

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