The Coleman football team is brimming with optimism as it enters the 2021 season. The Bluecats return seven starters on offense and eight on defense from a team that went 6-3 (2-2 I Districts 4-2A Division I) last year.
“We have a lot of returners with experience and a very talented group mixing in,” Coleman coach John Elder said. “We should be able to compete to the top two spots in our district.”
The Bluecats will receive a boost from their younger players, who went 10-0 on the junior varsity last year.
Junior RB/LB Ryland Gentry (420 yards, 2 TDs rushing and 74 tackles) is a leader on both sides of the football for Coleman. OL/DE David Navarro (53 tackles, 5 sacks) is one of the leaders on defense, along with RB/LB R.J. Wright (43 tackles).
WR/DB Denver Hunter (40 tackles, 2 INTs) also had nine catches for 80 yards and one touchdown, while WR/DB Braxton Smith led the receiving corps with 17 receptions for 400 yards and six touchdowns.
“Braxton is very athletic, great hands with the ability to separate from defenders,” Elder added.
Coleman has returning experience on the line, too, including 230-pound OL/DL Gus Allen (36 knockdowns, 24 pancakes), TE/LB Christian Espita (45 tackles), OL/DL Jeryd Fain (23 knockdowns, 18 pancakes), 220-pound OL/DL Garrett Smith and 210-pound OL/DL George Silas.
Sophomore RB/LB Brent Bouldin brings size, strength and speed to the lineup, according to Elder. Another sophomore, QB/DB Jadin Jackson will compete for the starting quarterback job.
Other returnees include K Christian Villeda, RB/LB R.J. Wright, utility player Cort McFadden, RB/DB Devinar Roberson, LB Will Faires and FB/DL Dayden Hunter.