Lake Norman & Mooresville

Huskies eager to learn, play first football game

Hough is only in its building blocks, not even having solidified their starting lineups, but coach Bobby Collins is already thrilled about his football team.

"It's been exciting so far," said the first-year head coach. "We have a new football stadium, new equipment, new helmets, new jerseys, so the kids have come out excited and, just like this summer, eager to learn."

Collins said he's taught his Huskies the fundamentals of the sport while trying to get them ready for their opening game against CMS's other new high school, Rocky River, and what should be a tough I-Meck schedule.

Hough's squad, which is mostly made up of players from Hopewell and North Meck, will run a spread offense that will also spend a lot of time in the I-formation.

"We're trying to put the football in the hands of the guys that will make things happen," said Collins. "We have to make sure our skill players can show their talent."

Collins said he's been impressed with his wide receiver unit, which will be led by former Viking Brandon Mobley and former Titan Jared Sobo, as well as what he's seen from his quarterback, Keegan Brennan, a junior coming to Hough from Lake Norman Charter.

"We have an opportunity to really move the football," said Collins.

On the defensive side, the Huskies will switch between the 3-4 and the 4-3. Collins said he's excited about his defense, as he has experienced, talented players on that side of the ball.

The Huskies' secondary and defensive line, led by former Viking Tyre Wilson, have stood out to the former Providence Day defensive coordinator.

Former North Meck linebackers Connor Millikin and Ryan Lemke should also stand out for the Huskies.

Collins has also put a lot of emphasis on special teams the entire summer.

"Football is won by all three aspects of the game," he said. "Special teams is just like offense or defense - we have to win on special teams to win a football game."

Collins said the team had yet to decide between five players who have been battling for the starting kicking duties.

Not having a senior class this season, the Huskies will be young.

Collins said he's had to keep his lessons simple, which has included teaching and building up his playbook incrementally not to overwhelm his new players.

Although youth is the team's biggest weakness, Collins believes the Huskies' strength is that the players come out willing to learn every day. This attitude has allowed more than 70 players to pick up the system up at a pretty fast rate.

Collins said he's seeing some of his juniors stepping up and taking ownership of the team and stepping up to become leaders.

"They're taking it upon themselves that we are successful this year," he said.

Regardless of what happens on the field, Collins said he's excited about having the opportunity to build Hough's football program.

"I think it's going to be fun."