Coach: Danny DeArman
Last season: 11-2 (7-0 in District), lost to DeSoto in regional semifinal
Key players: OLB Edwin Freeman (6-1, 224); LB Roderick Winters (5-11, 196); DB Conan Skidmore (6-0, 180); OL Kris Thigpen (6-3, 250); WR Jordan Versey (5-10, 175); WR/QB Tony James (5-8, 150); QB Keaton Perry (5-9, 170); DB Niko Small (5-11, 170); OL Madison Akamnonu (6-5, 255); OL Clyde McCully (6-3, 240)
The big picture: Bowie is stacked on defense and might be the best by the end of the season. But perhaps flying under the radar is how talented the Vols are on the offensive line. Kris Thigpen and Madison Akamnonu have an additional year of experience after dominating their positions last season, and Clyde McCully adds great size. Quarterback Tony James will shift to receiver as last season’s starter Keaton Perry is back from a knee injury that ended his season in Week 2. With Perry back in the driver’s seat, Jordan Versey should get more touches in the passing attack. Last season, Bowie registered nearly 6,000 yards of offense. After Perry’s injury, though, James brought a more mobile style, rushing for 963 yards and 13 touchdowns. Still, Bowie stayed with the passing attack and James threw for 1,690 yards and 20 scores. Defense, though, is where the Vols are most vicious. Last season’s team gave up an average of 251 yards per game but only 102 yards per game passing. Bowie returns a host of starters from last season and is looking to bolster its run-stopping ability. Last season the Vols twice allowed individual rushers over 150 yards, once had three backs combine to exceed 150 yards, and allowed two DeSoto backs each more than 100 yards in the regional semifinal.
Quotable: “I love the coaches, you know I’ve been with those guys for awhile. It would be a lot tougher had I come in from the outside but given the fact we’ve been together so long, the relationship that we’ve developed has made it an easy process.” — coach Danny DeArman
Last week’s Cedar Hill scrimmage “was our first chance to see what we’ve got. It was exciting and we’re ready for the season. We were pretty good, but it’s just a start. We’re going to do something amazing this year on defense.” — LB Edwin Freeman
“Last year we went three rounds, lost to DeSoto, and we have 15 or 16 people coming back. That’s probably up there with everybody in the district and everybody who is kind of filling in played a lot last year. I think we’re pretty much reloaded and have a chance to be pretty good this year.” — QB Keaton Perry
Notable: Bowie gave up just 77 yards passing per game in district last season.
— Kevin Casas
Quarterback Keaton Perry returns after a knee injury last year.
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