Many high school football programs would have been happy with what the Huskies accomplished last season. They won five games and the made the playoffs, but for Harlem that’s not good enough.
“For us it was pretty disappointing,” says linebacker Chris Houston. “We knew we could do better than that, but we’re stepping up this year. We have championship mindset.”
And possibly a championship roster. It starts with sophomore quarterback James Cooper. He started the first four games last season as a freshman before going down with an injury. Cooper has a gun for an arm and he has major colleges already wooing him.
“He’s a tremendous talent,” says Harlem coach Jim Morrow. “He’s got an understanding of progressions and things that he didn’t have last year so much. It’s really going to be fun to watch for sure.”
Then there’s junior receiver Jalon Benson, now in his third varsity season. With his speed and elusiveness he could be the most dynamic offensive player in the conference, but he’s also a tremendous impact player on defense in the secondary, so how many touches he’ll get on offense is up in the air.
“We’re just going to have to see how that that plays out and how we can get the most out of Jalon without over-exerting him,” says Morrow.
Seth Korich, Johnny Shemshidini and Brandt Hixon are excellent runners too, and then there’s the new guy…big sophomore tight end Dominic McCarren. He transferred in from East where he started last year.
“I expect him to have a big year,” says Morrow. “We’ve built a lot of things around him now. He’s got tremendous hands. We’re just trying to develop him as a route runner.”
The Huskies are definitely going to move the chains and put points on the board this season. The key for them will be stopping their opponents from doing the same. There have been games here and there the last couple years where the Huskies gave up a bunch of points. Middle linebacker Chris Houston will be a key player on that side of the ball.
“I feel as if this defense is going to be very improved from last year,” says Houston.
“We’re just focusing on us mostly,”says Kordich who also plays linebacker in addition to running back. “We’re focusing on doing all of our responsibilities correctly. Just being confident and dependent on the field for each other.”