Delta Charter

Losing two of the biggest playmakers ever at Delta Charter leaves Storm head coach Blake Wheeler with some big shoes to fill.

Freddie Mango is now at Grambling, while Trey Poole is playing football at Mississippi Colllge.

"I hate to see those guys leave," Wheeler said. "I'm proud for them, but I miss them on the field, in the weight room and in school being positive role models."

But that also lead to this year's team motto.

"No excuses," Wheeler said. "And the kids have taken to that. We have a great group of young men who are a lot of fun to coach."

Wheeler said the players and coaches are excited about the season and chomping at the bit to get started.

"We're not looking as much about the record as we are the type of effort they give," he said.

One thing Wheeler has spent extra time on is eliminating penalties.

"Last year we had several dumb penalties in key spots that took the wind out of our sails," he said. "The type of teams we play, we cannot afford to give them free plays."

Wheeler has been pleased with his leadership.

"We've got a good group," Wheeler said. "Seniors Cole Beard and 'Smurf' (Ka'varius Whitehead) have shown great leadership. We've got some very coachable kids."

Whitehead and sophomore Payten Roberts are seeing time at quarterback.

"Peyton has come a long way since the first day of practice," Wheeler said. 

Junior Tre Griffin will see most of the carries at tailback.

"He's going to be our bell cow," Wheeler said. "He really came on at the end of last year and is a warrior in the weight room."

Receivers are Whitehead, senior Chandler Harrison and senior Ny'Kel Brooks.

Unlike previous year when all Class 1A teams made the playoffs, only 24 will advance this year.

"If we want to be one of those teams we have to win games we're supposed to win and win some no one expects us to win," Wheeler said. "It's how bad these guys want it. I like our chemistry and the fact the kids on this team believe in each other."

Junior Kenzeric Hollins will be at tight end.

Manning the offensive line are Beard, junior Luke Roberson, junior Drew Brown and freshmen Clay Roberson and Aidan Ferguson.

The defensive line consists of sophomore Jarred Barron,junior Luke Roberson, sophomore Curtis Bullits and Beard. 

Linebackers are Roberts and junior Jayson Griffin.

The defensive backfield consists of Hollins, Chandler, Whitehead, Griffin and sophomore Jestin Garrison.

Beard will handle the kicking duties, while Roberts will do the punting for the Storm.

"it's so important for the kids in back-up roles to understand they are a huge integral part of what we do," Wheeler said. "Guys need breaks which gives others playing time. The hardest thing my first two years was finding when to give some guys a break and when to keep them on the field."

Last season, Mango injured his ankle in the first game, which affected the Storm the remainder of the season.

"We have to stay healthy," Wheeler said. "We've been tough on them in the weight room and in conditioning, but I think they will appreciate that in the fourth quarter of each game. I want them to be able to stand up without their hands on their hips or bending over. We'll be competing at a high level."




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