There are a few teams in the county that will return players with quarterback experience this fall.
But, of the four county schools, only one will return a quarterback that started every game last season.
That right belongs to the Hatton Hornets.
Yes, it will be Hatton’s Briley Kerby who returns this year with the most experience, and the good news for Hatton is he’s just a sophomore.
Kerby won the job last year as just a freshman, and led the Hornets to a 5-5 season. A solid campaign given how utterly stacked their schedule was.
Now, with a year of starting experience under his belt, Kerby looks to take the next big step as Hatton’s quarterback.,
“It feels good to be back out here and practicing,” Kerby said. “I’m excited for what this season holds.”
Kerby moved to Hatton prior to last season, and admits he wasn’t quite expecting to win the starting job as a freshman.
“I had played a little before as an eighth grader but didn’t have a lot of experience,” he said. “It was difficult going up against two seniors who had played before. But I’ve played quarterback my whole life so I guess that helped out.”
Winning the quarterback job is a great accomplishment for any player, but winning it as a freshman showed the amount of faith the coaches had in him.
“It made me feel that they trusted me,” he said. “That really gave me a lot of confidence.”
It was a good thing too that the trust was established. The quarterback is the leader of the team, and being a freshman and leader of the team can come with a lot of challenges.
“There were a lot of questions I had to ask,” he laughed. “Learning to read coverages and defenses, that’s not something that comes easy.”
Fast forward a year later and Kerby is no longer fighting for the job, he is the established quarterback on the team.
That’s a good thing too because the Hornets graduated a lot of seniors from last years team.
“It feels easier knowing that I’ve been here before. Now it’s just about progressing as a player,” he said. “Of course with all the seniors we lost that falls on me to step up more as a leader.”
“With the virus, we’ve lost a lot of time in the winter and spring that normally you would use for building that team chemistry so it’s made it a little more difficult,” he continued. “But even though I wasn’t the main leader last year, I was still the quarterback so I know the guys looked towards me.”
Hatton has relied on a strong running game led by a bruising offensive line in recent years. However, this year they will have to break in several new linemen. Despite this, Kerby still has faith in the young guys to step up.
“I feel confident in our line 100%. We lost some guys, but we have some coming back that give us a strong core and we have some new guys that I feel confident in,” he said. “Of course, having guys like Jaxon Mitchell and Carter Reed in your backfield helps take the pressure off as well.”
Still, with a year under his belt, Kerby feels his coach is ready for him to open up the offense more.
“I think Coach Bowling will let me open things up more,” he said. “We’ve already been working on coverages and progressing the mental side of the game for me. I think I’ll be ready to take that next step.”