It's that time again. The grass is cut, the birds are chirping, and high school football teams all over the state of Texas are preparing to kick off their fall practices in preparation for the upcoming year. In District 18-4A, it is no different. The Huntsville Hornets are looking to build on what they accomplished last year and make a deep playoff run. Looking at their roster, there is no reason to believe otherwise.
It all starts at the quarterback position and junior Justin Gilbert is poised for a breakout season after 1,341 passing yards, 9 touchdowns, and completing 60% of his passes (97-164 attempts). Lining up on the outside will be WR Howard Brown who at 6'3", 185 lbs. is a imposing target who can run (4.6 40-yard dash). In the backfield is RB's Lonny Lipscomb and Joseph Maxey who give the hornets as deep a backfield as there is in the district. The offensive line is in a state of transition but head coach Mitchell Coey has been impressed with their progress in spring practices. Shelby Stoughton, a returning all-district selection, and Tyler Danford are expected to make significant contributions.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Hornets have some of the better players in the district. Senior Kirby Ennis, the fourth ranked LB in the state, is the leader of the Hornet defense and lining up with him at LB are returning starters and all-district selections Shaquille Ross and Bryce Bagget. They should help the team solidify the LB position. At DB is James Davidson who is the seventh ranked DB in the state and is expected to step up with Ennis to lead the hornet defense. With his size and speed (6'3", 195, 4.5 40), this senior is set to have a monster year.
Although there may only be four starters returning on offense and three on defense, there are many other players returning that saw playing time on both sides of the ball and that should make the rebuilding process easier. With the leadership of Ennis and Davidson on defense as well as Gilbert and Brown on offense, this team has high expectations of themselves for this upcoming year. They firmly believe they can compete for the district title and with the returning talent as well as the established talent on the team, there is no reason to doubt them. All the Hornet fans out there better get ready for an exciting season. The Green Swarm is back.