Jeffrey Adams and Taylor McGee return to anchor a Wildcat defense that gave up 14 points and 99 rushing yards per game.
Wildcat head coach Curtis Higgins is pleased with his defensive unit that also returns two starters at linebackers and three in the secondary.
“We’re solid at linebackers and the defensive line positions. We’re also solid up front and have some people that we haven’t been playing much on defense yet because of injuries,” Higgins said.
Adams and McGee provide over 600 pounds of beef at the tackle position, with junior Devin Herndon the likely starter at nose guard.
Higgins thinks Trigg’s size up front will make it hard for teams to gain any rushing yardage up the middle against them.
“I think teams will run outside and away from us in the middle,” Higgins said. “We should be better against the trap than we have in the past.”
That’s important because district favorite Fort Campbell has used the trap and jet sweep to beat the Wildcats the past two years.
While many top schools in the nation are courting Adams, McGee is also garnering some college interest. He has been offered a scholarship by Murray State, with Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Ball State also showing interest.
Senior Rick Woods, who was among the team leader in tackles and sacks last year, and junior John David Fourqurean return at linebacker for the Wildcats, who will feature a 4-3 look on defense.
Higgins said Jamaal Boyd will move into the linebacker slot in certain packages and can move back into the secondary when teams show pass.
Higgins will also use Tommy Woodall at linebacker when he is fully recovered from a broken wrist suffered early in the summer.
Trigg County’s secondary, which has looked Jekyll-Hyde the past few seasons, appears to favor Hyde this season with the return of three starters.
Greg Acree came out of nowhere to win a starting role at defensive back and responded with four interceptions.
Devin Tejada, who also picked off three passes, also returns at safety from last year’s unit that recorded 17 interceptions and held opponents to 112 yards passing per game.
“We lost two starters, but Tejada can go get the ball back there, and Greg really came out of nowhere,” Higgins said. “We can also put Jamaal (Boyd) back there, and Dhayna Cavanaugh is seeing more time practice at one of the corner spots.”
Trigg County’s defense has improved each year during Higgins’ tenure at TCHS, and he feels that trend can continue in 2005.
That could be a tall task to accomplish given that last year’s squad had 36 sacks, 33 turnovers, and held their opposition to 14 points or less in eight of their final ten games.
Trigg County’s defense will be tested early and often as the Wildcats open the 2005 season with three straight Class 3A schools -–Madisonville, Bowling Green, and Hopkins County Central.
With an offensive line that is still trying to find its identity and play a crucial role in the offensive scheme, the pressure will be on the Wildcat defense to give the offense a chance to win the game.
“We want to get some momentum against good competition in the first three games. I don’t want to lose all three, but that is a serious possibility,” Higgins said.