The Forest Hills football team came very close to winning to the Rocky River 2A conference championship last season.They led Monroe 23-14 with four minutes left in the game. Then the Yellow Jackets got beat on two Quay Chambers (now at Duke) touchdown passes; the game-winner came with 22 seconds left in the game.Yellow Jacket head coach John Lowery, whos been at the school for 28 years, says his team will use that loss as motivation.Weve gone into the final game of the regular season with Monroe the last two seasons with the conference title on the line, but havent been able to win it, Lowery said. But we feel like we have another great chance to contend for the conference championship this year and hope the ball bounces our way.He has won 16 conference titles in his tenure at Forest Hills, with his last one coming in 2006.Our number one goal is to win the conference, Forest Hills senior quarterback Jared Lee said. We know we are probably going to have to beat Monroe to do that.Forest Hills will go as far as Lee (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) can take them. The four-year starter is back to lead way after rushing for 1,169 yards and 16 touchdowns while passing for 849 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.Lee is also hoping to turn interest from Elon, Gardner-Webb, Western Carolina and Wofford into a firm college scholarship. He will direct Forest Hills rushing attack, which averaged 270 yards and 37 points per game.The kids believe in Jared and look up to him and expect him to make things happen, Lowery said.Lee loves his role. My job is to step up and make plays and lead these guys, Lee said. People are watching me all the time on the field, off the field, in the weight room. I have to be a good example all the time. But, I really enjoy being the quarterback and the leader for this team, and I am ready to get things started.Lee uses his speed to get to the outside. Junior running back C.J. Carelock will do all the bruising running up the middle; Carelock had a breakout showing with 1,116 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns last year.Carelock and Lee will get some help from junior Tyler White and sophomore Kendrick Barrino.Forest Hills ground game will need the offensive line to be consistent. That group is led by junior center J.B. Helms and classmates Trenton Chambers, Zeb Davis and Steven Sweatt.When the Yellow Jackets go to the air, Lee will have several options in seniors B.J. Ashcraft and Jaquan Davis.Forest Hills defense also looks to play a key role.Senior Deshaw Coffey will move from his defensive end spot into middle linebacker to lead the unit as a two-year starter. He should get a lot of support from Barrino at outside linebacker and defensive tackle Roger Ponds, who can be a disruptive force in the front seven.The Forest Hills secondary will look to senior Tyrus Huntley, Lee and White to make plays.We have a lot of reasons to believe we can have a great season, Lowery said. But we will have to go out and prove it in a great conference, and then hopefully in the playoffs.Lowery is no stranger to success. He has averaged nine wins per season in nearly three decades as the head man in Marshville. But after six seasons without even a conference title, the Yellow Jackets are eager to get back on top of the league.The newly reshuffled Rocky River Conference includes Central Academy, West Stanly, Mount Pleasant and Parkwood. And they have a challenging nonconference slate, including Anson County, Weddington and Piedmont.This is a big year for us, especially the seniors, Lee said. Weve been working hard for this and looking forward to the challenge. We hope its our best.
Monday, Jul. 22, 2013
For Forest Hills, Rocky River 2A conference is first focus
Forest Hills Coach: John Lowery, 28th Year (Career Record at Forest Hills: 247-102). 2012 Record: 8-4, (6-1). Starters returning: 13 (7 offense, 6 defense). Top Players: • Q B Jared Lee, 6-foot-1, 180, Sr.: 4-year starter rushed for 1,169 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He has interest from Elon, Gardner-Webb, Western Carolina, Wofford. • RB C.J. Carelock, 6-2, 225, Jr.: Another big part of the Yellow Jacket rushing attack with 1,116 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore. • RB/LB Kendrick Barrino, 6-1, 175, So.: Expected to be a big factor for the offense and defense. • C J.B. Helms, 6-foot, 225, Jr.: Junior center anchors the always important Yellow Jacket offense line. Can’t miss games: Weddington, Aug. 30; at Piedmont, Sept. 13; at Monroe Nov. 8.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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