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Farmville Central ready to improve in 2018

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Farmville Central football players perform drills during practice Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Farmville Central football team that has seen its state title hopes ended in the first round of the playoffs in the past is hopeful to make the leap for a deep playoff run in the immediate future.

The Jaguars ended 2017 with a 5-7 record, and a loss in the opening round of the postseason. 

“The last few years we haven’t made it past the first round, so we are really working to make it farther this season,” Farmville Central senior linebacker Sam Barrett said. 

Barrett and his twin, David, both seniors on the Jaguar squad, are stepping up as the season approaches, taking charge and putting in the effort to improve in their last go at the high school level.

“Both of those guys are pure athletes as well as great kids. They both benched 305 in their last session and still have the 4.5 (40-yard dash) speed,” FC coach Scott Gardner said. 

The Barrett twins will work alongside Farmville Central’s most noticeable player, senior defensive lineman Keziah Everett. The 6-foot-2, 329-pound lineman is a star on the Jaguars defense. With his verbal commitment to East Carolina in June, Everett will place his total focus on pushing the Jags deep into the postseason

The Jaguars’ defense is full of speed and power around Everett. The defensive line is filled with big bodies that have the ability to drive back or speed right past the opposition. At the linebacker, corner and safety positions, the Jags feature several fast players. As the team continues to improve, they could become more and more dangerous for opposing offenses. 

“I’m always looking to make a play. With it being my last year I just want to go out and leave my mark,” Sam Barrett said. 

The question of who will lead the Jaguars’ offense is still up in the air. Gardner said he will be making his decision shortly based on practices and upcoming scrimmages.

The Jags’ majority rush-style offense of previous years yielded gains, but with a new quarterback coming into play, Gardner could have the option to open his playbook and put the ball in the air more often. What is certain is that if he chooses to do so, he will have plenty of talented receivers on the other end.

For this class of seniors, the goal is to make a deep playoff run. Several could see their football careers end this season, so the desire to win for themselves and their team will be a driving force in the hunt for the playoffs. 

The Jaguars begin their season on Aug. 17 against Kinston.

“We expect them to be fast and athletic just like they are every year. It should be a good game and we’re excited,” Gardner said of the Kinston clash. 

Contact Jake Keator at 252-329-9594 or jkeator@reflector.com and follow @JakeKeatorDR on twitter.

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