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COVID has Longhorns behind to start the season

2020 Longhorn Seniors, Front: Jenna Horner, Standing L-R: Jay Ortega, Conner McNutt, Sam Mann, Ricky Fenner, Javier Buenfil, Stacy Greer, Matt Mowery, Tyler Wilson, Ethan Bower, Ryan Moorefield, Aiden Walker, Joseph Gambill, Christian Johnson. Photos by Joey Icenhour

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

It’s been a difficult task trying to get football started at Johnson County for the 2020 season. The team had to overcome a shutdown of 14 days, which showed in their game with Sullivan East on Friday night.Head coach Don Kerley has done all he can do to try and get his squad ready, but you can’t compensate for the time missed that was needed for conditioning.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for Kerley and his staff trying to figure out who is playing and where.Last year’s starting quarterback Stacy Greer has moved over to fullback, hoping to add some depth at the running back position.

“Whatever helps the team is what I want to do,” said Greer, one of the team’s senior leaders. “We’ve got to get some practices in, but I feel like we can be pretty good if we get in football shape and keep working hard. This team wants to do well, and I think that we can.”

Greer will join the backfield by running back Sam Mann, quarterback Dalton Brown and split back, Corie Neely.The line will be senior-heavy with Connor McNutt getting the nod at the center but will miss the first game due to an injury. Ricky Fenner, John Stout, Nathaniel Summerow, and Trevor Henson will make up the offensive line. Ryan Morefield will start at tight end.

“Morefield has looked good in practice to never had played before,” added Kerley. “The kids are working hard, trying to make up for the time that we lost.I’m glad we’re playing the first game, or we would be behind.”

The Longhorns have several players that will start both ways on offense and defense. Morefield, Fenner Greer, and Mann will do the double duty. They are joined on defense by Matt Mowery, Ethan Icenhour, Aden Walker, Ethan Bower,
Tyler Wilson, and Javier Benfield in the season opener. 

Kerley indicated that they could be playing more freshman than in years past, but that’s a wait-and-see thing. Johnson County will open the season at Sullivan East and Sullivan North before returning home in week three to take on rival Hampton. 

“We play some tough non-conference games,” said Kerley, and most of them are our rivals. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then. The COVID put us behind, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse. We need to work hard over the next few weeks to make up for some lost time.”

Jenna Horner will handle the placekicking duties while Nate Rice will be the punter.