This year’s Hornet football season hasn’t been what the program has quite expected, but the team made some positive gains that could lead to big changes in the future. With a 2-9 finish, the 2020 season has been tough on the program, but with good lessons learned.
Coach Gerald discusses his thoughts on the current season and next season by saying, ”I think this year we went through some experiences, and competition was much higher than last year. We have such a young group of experienced players, and that could be a bright light going into next season.”
With sophomore transfer Zander Rodgers coming into the program, and senior linebacker A.J Taylor graduating, the Hornets are looking to fulfill the role A.J had on the linebacker core. AJ had a big impact on both sides of the ball, and some younger players will have to fill those shoes.
Sophomore running back ZayKwan Henderson broke his collarbone in a playoff game against Rogersville after having a fantastic season on the varsity squad. ZayKwan is one of the younger bright spots heading into the next couple of years, and he showed it this year.
Despite the 2-9 record, there were a lot of good things to come out of this season. With up to nine sophomores playing downs with the Varsity squad, that experience could prove to be valuable down the road. Three of the Hornets’ losses came by less than a touchdown, showing that the team had the tools to compete, but just couldn’t get the job done down the stretch in the 4th quarter.
Some expect next year to be one of the better football seasons that Hillcrest has had in awhile. With 9 seniors departing, there are roles that will need to be filled by rising juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, but this year provided some hope with the reinforcements that the Hornets will have next year.