Hubbard looks to improve after rare .500 season in 2017
Hubbard looks to improve
after rare .500 season in 2017
By Dan Hiner
The Hubbard football team is coming off a down year. Well, down by Hubbard standards.
The Eagles went 5-5 in 2017 and 3-3 in the All-American Conference White Tier, finishing fourth in their division.
Other than their Week 1 win over University School, Hubbard’s wins came against teams with records under .500. The Eagles beat Edgewood, Niles, East and Jefferson — who combined for a 6-34 record.
“When we reflect on the losses last season, we feel that three of the five losses were games we could have won — maybe should have won but could have won,” Hubbard head coach Brian Hoffman said.
Hoffman said the team has been focused through conditioning and camp. He will rely on the veterans on the roster to help better the team.
The Eagles have seven starters returning on each side of the ball. Several players on the 2018 roster were forced to play due to injury and Hoffman hopes the experience will pay off.
Davion Daniels is returning for his senior season at quarterback. He’s started the last two years and was a force with his arm and his feet.
Daniels threw for 1,017 yards and eight touchdowns while running for 829 yards and 11 scores.
“It’s a nice feeling having your quarterback coming back, knowing that he’s been playing with you for four years essentially — two years as a starter going into his senior season,” Hoffman said. “At this point he really knows the offense and can communicate that to the other players in the huddle.”
Senior Rafael Morales is returning at running back. He ran for 1,600 yards as a sophomore and Hoffman would like to see Morales repeat his production.
Hoffman has four players returning on the offensive line with playing experience.
Seth Jones looks like he’ll play center. Joe Bednarik, Reese Best, Mario Eusanio and Anthony Shaffer are returing at the guard and tackle positions.
Shannon Slovesko is taking snaps at tight end and receiver. Sam Mauk and Slovesko are the early starters at receiver. JayQuan Odem and Bray Donlow are expected to play slot receiver.
The Eagles will have experience on the defense. Hubbard has several starters returning along the front seven.
Bednarik is returning for his junior season and Jones is entering his senior year. Bednarik was named first-team White Tier last season and Jones was named to the second team.
Lukas Mosora returns at linebacker after recording a team-high 162 tackles and five sacks last season. Hoffman will rely on Mosora to lead the defense again this year.
“Career tackling wise [Mosora’s] up close to about 300 tackles,” Hoffman said. “He makes a lot of plays and he’s also the guy who sets the defense for us, communicates with everybody on the field and makes sure we’re properly aligned.”
Josiah Tarver and Jermia Harris are returning at the outside linebacker position. Slovesko played defensive end last season but will play outside linebacker this year.
Daniels is returning at safety. He recorded 53 tackles and two interceptions last year. Senior Jamie Thompson will play the other safety position. Donlow, Odem and Mauk will play corner along with several other players.
Anthony Corrin and Chase Powell are both returning at kicker. Corrin, a senior, handled the place kicking responsibilities last year while Powell kicked extra points and punted. Corrin will punt this year as well.
Hoffman said both kickers will attempt extra points, and duo will attempt field goals depending on the situation. The kickoff responsibilities are still to be determined.