By Brandon Mauk
Christ the King’s football team had its best campaign since 2010 last season, finishing 6-3 and making an appearance in the CHSFL Class AA playoffs. But this year, the Royals are hungry for even more. CK believes it has the tools to improve after adding players from a junior varsity team that went 11-1 and reached the Class AAA final to a strong returning core.
“Going into the second year, it looks a lot better,” coach Jason Brown said. “We have a lot of talent coming from the JV. We have a real promising team.”
Many of his players are a bit bolder with their goals for 2015.
“I expect to win the chip, nothing less,” said senior linebacker Matthew Grizzle. ”That’s what we’re aiming for.”
Christ the King intends on beating teams with speed on both sides of the ball and coach Brown is focused on designing one-on-one schemes to his players’ benefit.
The kids up from the JV who will play a big role include defensive backs Randy Pringle and Adrian Velez-Tolson as well as running backs Elyjah Campbell and Harrison Abreu. The Royals’ versatile athletes provides the team with the opportunity to be very balanced in their attack, giving them the ability to be a speed or power running team.
“It’s hard to scout or try to see what we’re trying to do, because we hit you from all kinds of angles,” Brown said.
He is also experimenting with using players like Giovanni Downie, also a running back, in the slot at receiver to create favorable matchups. Senior Lorenzo Worrell leads the offensive line. Many players are used on both sides of the ball.
Getting all of that talent involved on offense is something senior quarterback David Navas is more than ready to take on.
“With us coming up and building team chemistry in preseason and offseason, we’re going to have a successful year,” he said.
Brown’s approach on defense is very similar to his offense. He has several fast defensive backs up from the JV and senior linebacker Brent Priester to make life tough on opposing receivers.
“We know the offense is going to move the ball, so we just want to do our job,” Grizzle said. “Got to get the offense the ball as soon as possible.”
Christ the King believes this team is deep enough to reestablish itself as a power in the CHSFL, starting Friday night against last year’s ‘A’ champion Fordham Prep.