Nobody likes to hear the term "rebuilding year," but after losing 18 starters, Augusta Christian faces just that.
Augusta Christian's James Hawes catches a pass and heads downfield during a passing game at the school against Cardinal Newman School.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
However, moving into the South Carolina Independent Schools Association means anything can happen for the Lions.
"We aren't really sure what to expect," Lane said. "We could struggle or we could be successful."
One thing is for sure: the Lions cannot be successful if the young players don't play a big role.
"That is a certainty," Lane said. "With the graduation losses we face, we need players to step up."
The most important player Lane needs to excel is his junior quarterback, Lee Banks.
Banks takes over for All-State quarterback Adam McKinney, who will suit up for Presbyterian College this fall.
Banks is only about 5-foot-8, but he has tremendous speed according to Lane.
"He might not have the size, but he makes up for it with his speed and intangibles," the coach said. The Lions must also replace running back Cole Rabun.
The Samford freshman ran for more than 1,500 yards last season and was first team All-County and All-State. Rabun followed Joel Whinghter as an All-State back, and Lane hopes he can find someone to extend the lineage.
Sophomore Kyle Meeks will get the first shot. Larger than Rabun, Meeks has good speed and great power.
The Lions lost their best offensive lineman from last season, Josh Adams, to Greenbrier. Adams stands about 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds and would have anchored the line.
That task now falls to William Lyon, who will also be counted on to lead the defensive front.
Marcus Paschal, a two-time All-Area selection at linebacker, will not play football this fall for undisclosed reasons. Dwight Banks graduated, leaving a hole at strong safety.
Senior Toby Brown will be called upon to lead the defense this season, and his play at tight end will aid the offense.
"I think we have a strong core group of players," Brown said. "They just need to step up."
Lane agrees with Brown's estimation.
"I know I sound repetitive, but the young players must set the tone early in the season," Lane said. "If they do, we should be all right."
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