published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Preps Preview: McCallie Blue Tornado

Like always, McCallie and Chad Toliver (3) have the Baylor game circled on the calender.
Like always, McCallie and Chad Toliver (3) have the Baylor game circled on the calender.
Photo by Dan Henry.

BY THE NUMBERS

3 — In a “one that counts” category, the number of consecutive losses to top rival Baylor.

6 — Wins Potter needs to reach 150 in his career. Of his 144 victories, 76 came from 1997 to 2006 during his first go-round as the Blue Tornado’s coach.

24 — Wins for McCallie since Potter left after the 2006 season. That’s an average of 4.8 per year with only one winning season, 6-4 in 2008.

SCHEDULE

Aug. 24 at McMinn County

Aug. 31 Ensworth*

Sept. 7 Tyner

Sept. 14 at Father Ryan*, 8

Sept. 21 Baylor* at Finley Stadium

Sept. 28 Battle Ground Acad.*

Oct. 12 Pope John Paul II*

Oct. 19 at Montgomery Bell*, 8

Oct. 26 Brentwood Academy*

* Division II-AA East/Middle game

Games start at 7:30 p.m. except where noted.

MCCALLIE BLUE TORNADO

Coach: Ralph Potter (11th year here, 144-65 in his 18 years)

Stadium: Spears Stadium

Address: 500 Dodds Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404

RECENT HISTORY

The Blue Tornado scored at least 40 points in three of their first four games for a 3-1 record but then went 1-4 with a victory only over Pope John Paul II. They surprised Battle Ground Academy in the first round of the playoffs but then lost 38-21 to Memphis University School to end the season. Here’s a look at the regular-season win total for the last five years:

Season 1 5 10

2011 ————(4)

2010 ————(4)

2009 ————(4)

2008 ——————(6)

2007 —————(5)

THREE STRENGTHS

1) Experience along the line of scrimmage. Potter’s confidence in the offensive line is bolstered by seniors Jack Harris and Casey Cook. Like most coaches, he’s always looking for more athletic ability on the defensive side but can more than make do with such players as linebackers Eric Wolf and Julian Nunally.

2) A melding of offensive philosophies. During his time at Brentwood Academy, Potter more deeply explored the different facets of the passing game, while those who remained at McCallie — Mike Newman, Chris Richardson and Andy Smith — advanced their knowledge of run-oriented blocking schemes. Potter is eager to put those two together. Of course, all of it is governed by what quarterback Nelson Johnston can do.

3) It might seem odd but it’s something that is close to Potter’s heart — typical McCallie kids. “They’re the type kids who work really hard, who don’t know what the word quit means.”

THREE CONCERNS

1) A rookie quarterback in junior Nelson Johnston to go with young players in the other skill positions. Potter says Johnston is a “good-looking kid who just has to gain some confidence.”

2) How quickly incoming coaches adapt. The newcomers include Eamon Thornton, who’ll coach outside linebackers; Efrin Sewart, the longtime volunteer at Tyner who’ll coach inside linebackers; and receivers coach Cory Simpson, an ex-Red Bank standout who spent close to a decade as an assistant with the Lions.

3) McCallie is long on experience in the lines and on defense but short on experienced skill guys offensively with the departure of quarterback Trent Lusk (1,145 yards, nine TD passes, 11 rushing scores) and running back Daniel McClure (11,513 yards, 13 TDs). The Tornado do have Samir Usman, who ran for 682 yards and caught 19 passes for another 162, along with some promising underclassmen.

THREE QUESTIONS WITH ERIC WOLF

(Senior linebacker)

Q: What are the expectations at McCallie?

A: To win the state. That’s our goal. We have a lot of experience on the lines and some good backs coming up. We have the parts. We need to come together as a team.

Q: What is your take on Coach Potter?

A: “It’s been great so far. He wants us to be physical. He’s trying to get us back to that tradition of physical players that go the extra mile and love to hit. He has explained to us that it is not just about football but about building yourself as a man and building character.

Q: Do you want to play at the next level?

A: I’d like to play at the Naval Academy and I’m also considering West Point. I’ve had some interest from Wake Forest and Duke.


ROSTER

1 Samir Usman - Senior

3 Chad Toliver - Junior

6 C.J. Fritz - Junior

7 Matthew Brock - Sophomore

8 London Elrod - Freshman

10 Asa Peeples - Senior

11 Spencer Morgan - Junior

12 Nic Naijar - Freshman

13 Tyler Payne - Sophomore

14 Hunter Smith - Freshman

15 Jay Roberets - Freshman

16 Sam Viscomi - Sophomore

17 Eric Wolf - Senior

18 Ryan Edwards - Junior

19 Reed Jacobs - Sophomore

20 Carl McPahil - Sophomore

21 J.J. Lewis - Sophomore

22 Logan Friday - Junior

23 Zak Hobbs - Senior

24 Myles Patton - Sophomore

25 Jeremy Jackson - Senior

26 Ryan Sanders - Sophomore

27 Andrew Busby - Junior

29 Gage Peeples - Sophomore

30 Bryan Jones - Junior

31 JaVaugn Craig - Freshman

32 Alex Trotter - Sophomore

33 Tanner Green - Sophomore

35 Mitch Dolinger - Senior

36 James Farish - Sophomore

37 Paul Silverblatt - Sophomore

38 Nick Kirksey - Freshman

39 Garrett Yates - Sophomore

40 Taylor Stutz - Freshman

41 Tanner Winters - Sophomore

42 Logan McCallie - Sophomore

43 Lordan Elam - Freshman

44 Tate Boyce - Sophomore

45 James Hale - Freshman

46 Kerrington Wilson - Sophomore

47 Robert Jenkins - Sophomore

48 Russell Hart - Sophomore

49 Garrison Welch - Sophomore

50 Morton McLemore - Junior

51 J.J. Moncus - Sophomore

52 Charles Wallace - Junior

53 Billy Boardman - Sophomore

54 Charlie Lindeman - Junior

55 Jud Potter - Senior

56 Casey Cook - Senikor

58 Carson McKoon - Freshman

59 Sam Devaney - Senior

60 Holden Norton - Sophomore

61 Shea Longshore - Sophomore

62 Julian Nunally - Senior

63 Chase Newell - Freshman

64 Nicholas Langley - Freshman

65 Ward Klein - Sophomore

66 Aaron Kirksey - Junior

67 Hayden Brown - Sophomore

68 Kirish Duncombe - Junior

69 Jack Harris - Senior

70 Luke Bandy - Junior

71 Connor O’Brien - Junior

72 Will Patton - Freshman

73 Jack Green - Freshman

74 Patrick Davis - Freshman

75 Cameron Walker - Junior

76 Thomas Eddins - Junior

77 Will Adams - Sophomore

78 Hunter Chance - Freshman

79 Riley Stamper - Junior

80 Alex Elsea - Senior

81 Dustin Smith - Freshman

82 Adrian Thomas - Freshman

83 Tariq Barnes - Freshman

84 Jonathan Lipman - Freshman

85 Jeffrey Coleman - Freshman

86 Peter Phillips - Junior

87 Conner Eckert - Sophomore

88 Walker Fredrick - Freshman

89 John Hooper - Junior

90 Garrett Sherman - Freshman

91 Ryland Chapman - Freshman

92 Jake Marsden - Freshman

94 Jon Luke Jenkins - Freshman

95 Clay Long - Freshman

96 Andrew Sharpe - Freshman

97 Ethan Cady - Freshman

98 Michael Barranco - Freshman

99 Harrison Hogan - Freshman

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