• 64°

Peavey wants to keep up Panther momentum

Brookhaven High School is looking to carry the momentum off of last year’s 11-2 season into 2018 under new, but former, head coach Tucker Peavey.

The Panthers lost their first game of the season last year to 6A State champion Pearl, but won six straight games to advance to the 5A south half semifinals.

The Panthers return a plethora of starters, especially at the skill positions, including senior quarterback Sevante Quinn.

Quinn threw for 1,432 yards last season for the Panthers and threw 21 touchdown passes on the year. On the ground, he rushed for 676 yards and eight touchdowns.

Peavey said it was nice to have a familiar face at quarterback coming into this season.

“I think that’s good for anyone when that’s the case,” Peavey said. “There’s no substitute for experience. It’s a big bonus when you’ve got that experienced player because he’s been through it before. That’s a nice position to be in with the experience at the quarterback position returning.”

The Panthers will have to replace Damarrell Leggett at the running back position. Leggett rushed for 1,525 yards and 21 touchdowns last season.  He averaged 117.3 yards per game last season.

Sophomore running back Jaquarius Edwards rushed for 1,158 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2017 with 14 touchdowns.

At the receiver position, the Panthers have returners as well. John Hilbert led the Panthers in receptions and receiving yards last season, and he’s back out wide. Hilbert had 525 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

“I think there’s a good number of skill position players returning that had playing time and have had some success,” Peavey said. “The skill guys look a lot better when they have good offensive linemen in front of them. We’ll need them to step up and play even better to give some of these inexperienced linemen a chance to catch up.”

Peavey said he thinks he has some talented offensive linemen and that they’ll be able to get better and better as the season goes along.

“The expectation is they get better over time, and that is certainly the need,” Peavey said. “Coming out of spring practice, we weren’t ready to play a game yet. You talk to them all the time about getting better today than we were yesterday. If we keep doing that, we’ll get where we need to be. It’s just a question of how long it takes for us to get there.”

On the defensive side of the football, the Panthers return a solid nucleus of starters to help give the offense time to gel and get better.

“I think going in defensively with the guys that we have back and the guys up front that we should be pretty good on defense,” Peavey said. “We’re going to need to be to allow the inexperience of offense to grow and catch up. We always want to be good on defense no matter what.”

Peavey and the Panthers have had a transition period over the past few months with each other getting used to the other, but he said it’s gone extremely well.

“It’s gone good,” Peavey said. “It’s a lot of the same old faces. I’ve developed a lot of new relationships. So hopefully it stays that way.”