25 Teams in 25 Days

Gautier football relying on new faces to fill key roles as 2017 season approaches

Gautier High School 2017 football team
Gautier High School 2017 football team Special to the Sun Herald

The Gautier football team has as many key players to replace as any squad on the Coast this season.

Former offensive tackle Paul Gainer is in the running for playing time as a freshman at Southern Miss while two other former standouts, offensive lineman Justin Scott and running back DeAndre Torrey, are at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Those are three players who played a major role in making Gautier a tough team to handle the last couple of seasons.

Gautier head coach Chris Peterson is hoping a young group of Gators can find a way to step up to the plate in his sixth season on the job.

It was an eventful offseason for Peterson, who resigned from his post in December, only to be reinstated to his job on July 10.

Peterson and Pascagoula-Gautier School District officials have declined to comment on the unusual turnabout.

Either way, Peterson is hoping to lead his team back to the postseason after coming up just shy in a 37-31 loss to Pascagoula in the regular season finale.

“I feel like we've had a good week and a half of practice so far. We're getting better every day,” Peterson said this week. “We're seeing more and more who can play every day and trying to just get at the point where we're trying to fine tune and sharpen headed into game week.”

Gautier returns its starting quarterback from a year ago in junior Kameron Kincaid, who threw for 693 yards and six touchdowns while running 115 times for 359 yards and three scores last season.

Kincaid will direct a different type of offense this season as the Gators transition back to the flexbone just like teams at George County, Vancleave and Gulfport have in the offseason.

“We kind of went back to some things these kids did in seventh, eighth and ninth grade,” Peterson said. “It's an ongoing adjustment. It's been a little tough, but they're catching on.

“(Kincaid) has had some good days and then at times you can tell he's working in a new offense. He's made mistakes, but that's all a part of the learning curve and growing process. He's a very talented player. We're going to need him to read the option.”

Junior Micah Kelly will lead the Gautier rushing attack this season after rushing 17 times for 121 yards and one touchdown last season. He will play a big role in replacing Torrey's 1,330 yards and 18 rushing scores from a year ago.

“Kelly is just a very talented football player,” Peterson said. “He runs extremely hard, doesn't mind lowering his shoulder. He'll have his number called a lot.”

Junior Chris Chandler and senior York Washington should pitch in at running back as well.

Junior Daylan Ray and Nazarrion Stallworth will be Gautier's top two targets at receiver.

Peterson likes what he describes as an experienced offensive line despite the graduations of Scott and Gainer. Sophomore senior Madden High (5-11, 225), junior Shone Hallman (5-11, 240) and senior tackle Mario Love (5-11, 265) are all returning starters. The players filling the other two spots on the line will be senior Arkevion Jordan (5-10, 210) and sophomore Seth Watson (5-9, 215).

Defense

The defensive line should be a strong group for the Gators with 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior Shaheim Carroll and senior D'Markeus Stallworth working at defensive end.

It will be a committee effort at nose tackle with senior Wendell Poole likely leading the way.

The linebacking corps will be led by inside backer Tennille Sellers, a junior.

“Sellers is a kid that can really strike you going downhill,” Peterson said. “He runs well and can make a lot of plays. He's just a junior and we expected big things out of him.”

The other linebackers pitching in will be senior Roman Miller, junior Franklin Young and Kelly.

Senior Ernest Miller and junior Kamron Mitchell are slated to be the two corners with senior Tab Burney and Stallworth manning the safety spots.

Gautier will also feature one of the best punter/kickers on the Coast in sophomore Kyle Gager, who accounted for 31 points last season.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee

Gautier schedule

Aug. 18: Ocean Springs

Aug. 19: Moss Point

Sept. 1: at Hancock

Sept. 8: at Pascagoula

Sept. 22: at Hattiesburg

Sept. 29: Long Beach

Oct. 6: at West Harrison

Oct. 13: Stone

Oct. 20: at Pearl River Central

Oct. 27: Picayune

Nov. 3: Wayne County

Gautier roster

1 Kameron Kincaid

2 Franklin Young

3 Shaheim Carroll

4 Nicholas Armstrong

5 Tennille Sellers

6 Micah Kelly

7 Chris Chandler

8 Jordan Henley

9 Dalyn McDonald

10 Roman Miller

11 Andres McCann

12 Makael Calhoun

13 Kamron Mitchell

14 Jamall Sherrod

15 Daylan Ray

16 Evan Gager

17 Ernest Miller

18 York Washington

20 Teshun McGee

21 Blessington Jones

22 Nazarrion Stallworth

23 T.J. Broadnax

24 Taberion Burney

25 Julian Betts

26 Jimmy Kelly

27 Chris Miller

28 D’Markeus Stallworth

29 Johnovan Glass

30 Cameron Gregory

32 Jamerial James

37 Kyle Gager

41 Demarco Lesueur

42 Wendell Poole

43 Kristofer Boden

45 Drake Thornton

50 Malik Pierce

51 Shone Hallman

52 Arkevion Jordan

53 Randy Gaines

54 Skyler Roberts

55 Gaden Cook

56 Terrance Dottery

58 Madden High

59 Storm Likkel

60 Mekhi Whigham

62 James Feliciano

64 Seth Watson

65 Dewan Hill

68 Mario Love

72 Joseph Saxon

74 Cortez Gaines

80 Adrian Scott

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