I stopped by Shannon yesterday to chat with head coach Chad Cook, who’s entering his second season there. Last year, his Red Raiders went 10-2 and lost to Kosciusko in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Chad’s a talkative fellow, which is good for me. I want all the material I can get. We talked mostly about the four offensive starters he has returning, three of which are skill players: WR William Green, RB Keon McGaughy and QB Alex Thornton. Thornton played receiver last year, but he played quarterback in some big games the last two years when Michael Ledbetter was injured.
Though Green is a heck of a receiver, Thornton’s not the passer Ledbetter is, which means we’ll likely see Green run the ball a little more (he had 184 rushing yards to go with his 1,108 receiving yards last season). McGaughy will have to stay healthy (he had a nagging ankle injury last year). Some people think Shannon will be down this year because of its losses on offense, but defense wins championships, and the Red Raiders have nine back on that side.
I think Shannon will be pretty strong. Do you think they’re strong enough to be in my Top 5 preseason rankings?