After finishing as conference runner-up last year, the biggest goal for McCrory this season is to win the Class 2A-3
Conference championship. McCrory finished 9-3 overall last year and lost in the second round of the state playoffs to Magnet Cove.
“We’ve got to get a little better at catching the ball, but our run game looks pretty good right now. We are pretty balanced,” said head coach Chris Kennon, who is starting his ninth year at McCrory.
McCrory has seven starters returning on offense this year, including junior quarterback Cason Campbell. Kennon said Campbell threw for more than 1,000 yards last season with an estimated 15 touchdowns.
“We keep him in the pocket, but he does a good job with his legs by keeping the play alive,” Kennon said. “He is able to extend the play for us, and obviously, by starting every game as a sophomore, he has improved with a year’s growth and development.”
Junior tailback Reid Kennon is back at full speed after finally recovering from a leg injury that he sustained his freshman year. The coach said his son has put on some weight and has gotten stronger and has worked on his speed and flexibility.
“He is more of a downhill runner and does a really good job of running it between the tackles,” Coach Kennon said.
Reid Kennon and Lathan Briley are the team’s returning linebackers and leading tacklers from a year ago. Brayden Davis is the team’s best receiver, Coach Kennon said. Davis has gotten taller and faster and looks much improved from last year, the coach said.
“We throw a lot of midrange balls to him, and we use Preston DeWitt and [sophomore] Lacoya Tucker more downfield,” Kennon said. “We use Brayden to stretch the field.”
Tucker was brought up to the varsity level as a freshman in Week 8 of last season, and he started every game afterward.
“He has the ability to go find the ball. He has great speed, plays downhill and tackles extremely well,” Kennon said. “I think our biggest strength is going to be experience.”
Juniors Lathan Briley and Buck Neal; and senior Ashton Yeager return to the offensive line. Kennon said Briley is “the shot caller up front, and if any adjustments are needed, it all goes through him.”
“Buck has probably put on 30 pounds, and he is up to 299 pounds, but he still moves really well,” the coach said. “Buck is also one of our defensive linemen, and he is probably our best returning lineman.”
Kennon said that currently, the biggest concern is finding another guard to flush out the offensive line. He said the team has been working different guys, including sophomores Clay Hollowell and Mason Whitley; and junior Tristin Davis.