BERRY: Potter settles in at quarterback
Wed. August 22, 2012 at 11:00 p.m. | By Barry Allen
Senior quarterback and defensive end Macon Potter (24) runs the ball during practice on August 14, 2012. (Photo by Erin Nelson)
BERRY | Berry High School senior Maken Potter is a jack-of-all-trades.
Last year as a junior, Potter started at center and defensive end and also played tight end, cornerback and quarterback for the Wildcats.
"He moved around a lot for us last year," Berry coach Danny Raines said. "He is a really good athlete and willing to do whatever it takes to help us win. He is a great kid and totally unselfish."
Berry fans should not expect to find the do-it-all Potter selling tickets at the front gate or dishing out hot dogs and soft drinks in the concession stand at halftime, but they will see him under center as the starting quarterback this season.
While Potter had to learn five different positions last season, the task of replacing three-year starter and two-time honorable-mention All-State quarterback Jacob Kennedy may be even tougher. Kennedy led the Wildcats to a 10-2 record last season and racked up a state-record 495.6 yards per game in 2011. Berry was the only team to beat Class 1A state champion and Region 5 rival Marion County.
"We had an impressive group last year," Raines recalled. "I am not sure it's realistic to think we can put up those numbers again. Last year's offense did a great job. They were an impressive group."
Potter will have a strong supporting cast, including senior fullback Clancy Brown, senior tight end J.C. Finch, senior receiver Luke Sanford, junior running back Terrance "Tank" Hollingsworth and sophomore receiver Blake Jones. Brown averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season and caught 36 passes. Hollingsworth ran for more than 1,800 yards and was a first-team All-State selection as a sophomore.
The offensive line will consist of Zach Pasley, Jeremiah Chaney, Roman Howton, Ronnie Finch and Charleston Hudson.
The defense returns only two starters, including Brown at linebacker and Hollingsworth at defensive back.
"We want to try to be multiple on defense and give some different looks," Raines said. "We have other guys with experience. It's not like we're throwing nine new faces out there."
J.C. Finch, Sanford, Potter and Chaney all saw significant action last season, but will have new roles this season. Finch will move from linebacker to defensive back, Sanford from right corner to left corner, Potter from defensive end to defensive back and Chaney from linebacker to defensive line.
"We try to move people around to give us the best chance to win," Raines added. "We will never have a lot of size, but we play hard and give great effort."
The Wildcats are ranked 10th in the preseason poll and will play in one of the toughest regions in the state, joining No. 1 Marion County, No. 6 Pickens County and No. 9 Lynn.
School: Berry High School
Classification: AHSAA Class 1A, Region 5
2011 record: 10-2
2011 playoffs: 1-1
Head coach: Danny Raines (10th year at Berry)
Assistant coaches: Darrell Thomas, receivers; James Willcutt, offensive line; Rodney McKinney, defensive line
Returning starters: 7
Keep an eye on: FB/LB Clancy Brown (6-0, 180, Sr.), RB/DB Terrance Hollingsworth (5-8, 205, Jr.), QB/DB Maken Potter (6-2, 180, Sr.)
Key games: Aug. 31 at Northside, Sept. 7 at Marion County, Oct. 26 Pickens County
Aug. 31 at Northside
Sept. 7 at Marion County*
Sept. 14 Hubbertville*
Sept. 21 Parrish*
Sept. 28 Lamar County
Oct. 5 at Brilliant*
Oct. 12 Lynn*
Oct. 19 at South Lamar*
Oct. 26 Pickens County*
Nov. 2 Oakman
*Denotes region game