published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Preps Preview: Tyner Rams

Fan’s guide to this year’s Tyner Rams

Coach: Wayne Turner (22nd year here, 188-65 in his 25 years) Stadium: Bob Evans Stadium Address: 6836 Tyner Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421

Three strengths

1) Skill players. It’s a group led by quarterback Willie Stewart, although he has challengers, and running back Joseph Sturkey, who missed two games and part of another but still managed 720 yards last year.

2) Coaching. Wayne Turner enters his 22nd year with the Rams, and the former Southern Mississippi linebacker has had just four losing seasons since he succeeded Carey Henley in 1991. Former Rams quarterback Jackie Buttram has returned to the coaching staff, joining newcomers Rob Flowers and Mike McKamey and veterans Jim Parker and Larry Dillard.

3) Experienced and talented leadership including Sturkey and Stewart, big two-way tackle David Powell (6-4, 335), fullback/linebacker Edward Duckett, who also could spend some time at noseguard, and wide receiver/defensive back Tony Walton, who could get some snaps at quarterback.

Three concerns

1) Depth is an issue for the moment, although the Rams might add a few more freshmen. They struggled last year when Sturkey was limited with an ankle injury. The squad currently numbers 45 and Turner knows the rigors of playing in a district where physicality and smash-mouth is a trademark.

2) The Rams need to bolster their passing game to keep teams from stacking the line of scrimmage to shut down their touted running attack. To bolster the running game last year, Turner at times went to a “big man” offense that featured three backs who weighed 235 to 265 pounds.

3) They don’t see anybody during the early training period because they don’t compete in the 7-on-7 passing leagues. Turner, like some of his peers, questions the value of no-contact sessions and no pressure on quarterbacks.

Three questions with ...

JOSEPH STURKEY

(Senior running back/linebacker)

Q: What are the team’s goals this year?

A: Winning the district but taking it one game at a time. Right now the priority is getting ready for Signal [Mountain]. We were disappointed at the start of last season, but we came together as a team and turned it around toward the end.

Q: Who is your favorite musician?

A: I have a lot of favorites, but it would probably be T.I.

Q: Do you have a nickname?

A: They [teammates] call me a lot of things — Joe-Sturk, Jo-Jo, Jo-dawg, even Sturk the jerk.

BY THE NUMBERS

1 — Losing seasons the Rams have had the past decade. During that time, Tyner has a record of 81-36 with four seasons of 10 or more wins. That losing season was last year when the Rams finished 5-6 following a 17-7 first-round playoff loss to eventual state champion Alcoa.

3 — The number of consecutive years Tyner has opened the season with back-to-back losses. Prior to that streak, in 2008 they won four in a row, averaging 45.3 points per game.

23 — Returning lettermen on the 45-man roster. Fifteen are returning starters: seven on offense and eight on defense.

2011 stats leaders

RUSHING Att Yards Avg TD

*Joseph Sturkey 95 680 7.2 5

Bobby Hendricks 98 436 4.4 3

PASSING Comp-Att Yards Int TD

*Willie Stewart 24-62 595 3 6

RECEIVING Att Yards Avg TD

De Drick Calloway 15 413 27.5 4

Bobby Hendricks 5 70 14.0 0

TACKLES Solo Assists Total

Charles Patrick 81 69 115.5

Darius Lomnick 55 46 78

*Lamonte Solomon 54 46 77

*Joseph Sturkey 52 44 74

*returning player

Schedule

Aug. 24 Signal Mountain, 7

Aug. 31 Brainerd*

Sept. 7 at McCallie

Sept. 14 East Ridge*

Sept. 21 Tullahoma

Sept. 28 Hixson*

Oct. 5 Central*

Oct. 12 at East Hamilton*

Oct. 19 at Howard*

Oct. 26 at Red Bank*

*District 6-AA game

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

Roster

1 Jarrett Watson Junior

2 Willie Stewart Junior

3 Haasan Miller Junior

4 Edward Duckett Senior

5 Joseph Sturkey Senior

6 Antonio Pickett Senior

7 Kalan Hardley Sophomore

8 Ahmad Johnson Senior

9 Emmanuel Moss Freshman

10 Tony Walton Senior

11 Rodney Watson Senior

15 Martavius Dunnigan Sophomore

16 Deelandis White Senior

20 Chris Waller Senior

24 C.J. Rials Sophomore

25 Jerome Morgan Freshman

27 Raymond Howard Junior

28 Shannon Spralls Freshman

29 James Beckett Sophomore

30 Deundrick Hamilton Freshman

31 Kevin Cortez Freshman

33 Robert Evans Freshman

34 William Montgomery Sophomore

35 Courtney Heard Senior

39 Alex Summerville Junior

40 Brandon Jackson Freshman

41 Kendrick Fuller Freshman

45 Lamonte Solomon Senior

50 Arthur Coefield Junior

52 Malik Bridge Junior

58 Cedric Fifer Sophomore

60 Jalen Grimes Sophomore

62 Deonta Tyson Freshman

64 Elijah Davenport Junior

68 Jared Leslie Sophomore

69 Terrell Borders Junior

70 David Powell Senior

71 Donte Kirk Junior

76 Robert Morris Senior

78 Devin Guy Sophomore

80 Chris Winston Senior

84 Jay Brown Sophomore

85 Juwan Samuels Freshman

86 Torrey Griffin Freshman

88 Anthony Beck Freshman

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