By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Celeste’s head football coach Demetrius Rector has 14 reasons to feel good about the Blue Devils’ chances of improving this season.
That’s the number of seniors on the roster.
“That is a good thing,” said Rector. “All of them, they’ve come to summer workouts. Practice has been great. They police themselves and they work so well together.”
The list of Celeste seniors includes tight end-linebacker Austin Shatto, fullback-linebacker Casey Genson, running back-linebacker Rickey Lewis, wide receiver-defensive back Mitchell Monk, wide receiver-defensive back Jace Pallan, wide receiver-defensive back Tim Herman, quarterback-linebacker Colton Smith, tight end-defensive lineman Nathan Warren, fullback-linebacker Keith Lynch, offensive-defensive lineman Nick Garza, offensive-defensive lineman Colton Blackstock, offensive-defensive lineman Andrew Holt, offensive-defensive lineman Jacob Smith and offensive-defensive lineman Austin Gilliam.
Rector and the Blue Devils are hoping to break a string of 3-7 records.
“We’ve been 3-7 for three years in a row,” said Rector. “Our record doesn’t show how we’ve gotten better.”
The Blue Devils easily could have been 5-5 or better with a little more luck in 2012.
“Last year we lost two games by one point,” said the Blue Devils’ head coach. “We were in every game except for one.”
Another reason for the Blue Devils to feel good about this season is they their junior varsity finished at 6-2 last season.
“I’m carrying two sophomores for the first time on my varsity,” Rector said of wide receiver-defensive back Eddie Amaro and lineman Garrett Sullivan.
Led by 320-pound center Jacob Smith, the Blue Devils’ offensive line will average about 240 pounds per play.
“That’s my source,” said Rector. “That’s the heartbeat of the team and they know it.”
Community coach Bryan O’Neal said the Braves’ practices have been going well.
“Really like the way our guys are working and how much they retained from the spring,” he said. “Our depth isn’t quite what we’d like, but if we can stay healthy we have a chance to be special this year.”
The Braves improved to a 4-6 record last season after going 0-10 in 2011.