High School Sports

John Feaster’s era begins at Stone High

The 2016 Stone County football team
The 2016 Stone County football team ttisbell@sunherald.com

John Feaster was an assistant coach under two of the Coast’s top head coaches in Pearl River County.

Feaster plans to bring that mentality to Stone High, his first head coaching job. He was defensive coordinator for Eric Collins at Pearl River Central and assistant at Picayune under Dodd Lee.

Stone (1-0) got off to a great start under Feaster last Friday, routing Vancleave 49-6 in the season opener as running back Terrion Avery ran for 250 yards and scored three touchdowns.

“We want people to know that Stone High will battle and be competitive whether we’re winning or losing,” Feaster said. “I want to make sure my kids are prepared and put them in the best position to win. When I got here, I was impressed with the kids’ hard work ethic and competitive spirit.”

Stone (4-7, 2-5 Region 4-5A) will rely heavily on its offense, which returns six starters.

Half of the Tomcats’ backfield returns: Avery and junior fullback Dennis Roberts. Avery is the best Tomcats’ offensive weapon, running for 1,200 yards and scoring 15 touchdowns as a junior in 2015.

“I feel great about having Avery back,” Feaster said. “He’s battle-tested. He had 1,200 yards last year, but wants more this year. We have to establish the running game.”

Preston Stringer will start at quarterback, with Ashton Hickman at wingback. Both are seniors.

Both Tomcats wide receivers are back: seniors Nick Brown and Truitt Smith. Brown scored six TDs last year and considered Stone’s deep threat.

“We need to find a way to get the ball in Nick’s hands,” Feaster said.

Stone, however, only returns two offensive line starters: guard Brandon Dickens and Aaron Yeager. Both are seniors.

Senior Keaton Iser and Drew Stanley will start at tackle, while Chaz Breland takes over at center. Breland’s a senior.

Stone returns five starters on defense, but the Tomcats are inexperienced upfront and linebacker.

Junior Kendall Arrington is the only starter returning upfront. Senior Trey Wegner is the only returning starting linebacker.

The Tomcats’ strength will be in the secondary, returning three starters: free safety R’Tarriun Johnson, and cornerbacks Demetrius Whitaker, Nick Brown.

Juniors Enrique Whaley, Kentrell McCray and Justin Batiste are expected to start at cornerback and the other two safety spots.

“We’ll be counting heavily on Trey, Nick and R’Tarrion,” Feaster said. “We’ve got a young defensive line. We want to control both lines of scrimmage.”

Competing in Region 4-5A will be another tough task for the Tomcats. Hattiesburg is considered the favorite to win Region 4-5A, while Pascagoula, PRC and Picayune are perennial playoff teams.

“We need to be relentess, disciplined and give effort,” Feaster said. “Effort alone will win you three games. We want to make sure we have a finished product on the field.”

Despite the impressive season-opening win, Feaster sees plenty of room for growth.

“The kids played hard,” Feaster said. “I’m grateful and thankful we won, but we still have a lot of work to do. We have to execute better on both sides of the ball.”

The Tomcats face East Central on Friday night.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

At a glance

2015 Record: 4-7, 2-5

Region: 4-5A

Head coach: John Feaster

Assistant coaches: Brad Calcote, Cory Danner, Cade Amacker, Marcus Hinton, Ben Bryan, Freddie Wegner.

Offense: Multiple

Defense: Multiple

Schedule

Aug. 19 at Vancleave

Aug. 26 at East Central

Sept. 2 vs. FCAHS at St. Patrick

Sept. 9 at Poplarville

Sept. 23 PEARL RIVER CENTRAL

Sept. 30 PASCAGOULA

Oct. 7 at Gautier

Oct. 14 at Picayune

Oct. 21 at West Harrison

Oct. 28 LONG BEACH

Nov. 4 at Hattiesburg

Note: Home games in CAPS; all games start at 7 p.m.

Roster

1 Terrion Avery

2 Ereon Harris

3 Nick Brown

4 Dennis Roberts

5 Kentrell McCray

6 Errol McDonald

7 Enrique Whaley

8 Demetrius Whitaker

9 Jakalyn Green

10 Trey Arrington

11 Spencer Edwards

12 Preston Stringer

13 R’Tarriun Johnson

14 Ashton Hickman

15 Colby Willis

16 Justin Battise

17 Parker Owen

18 Truitt Smith

19 Travis Picco

20 Jonathan Denning

21 Kelton Marshall

22 Tyce Monroe

23 Ian Flurry

24 Dylan Cobb

25 Nathan Fairley

26 Jamar Hibbler

27 Jaylen Payton

28 Mason Hunt

29 Garrett Levins

30 Jordan Turan

31 Price Kiser

32 Jammy Boulton

33 Trey Wegner

34 Tyrion Brown

35 Darrien Carter

40 Macon Herrin

41 Dustin Parker

42 Dawson Cudd

43 Curtis Kennedy

44 Brandon Beach

45 Zavage Wilson

46 Trenton Howe

48 Timmie Hughes

49 Connor Rutherford

50 Tyler Keel

51 Trent Parker

52 Larry Jones

54 Will Lanius

55 Tavin Peters

56 Chris Brown

57 Christopher Parker

58 Raymond Hatten

59 Kaleb McCarty

61 Aaron Yeager

62 Landon Barnes

63 Chris Bassinger

65 Braxton Nelson

66 Anthony Quina

67 Keaton Iser

68 Brandon Dickens

69 Chaz Breland

70 Alex Gentry

72 Dillon Douget

75 Hagen Ladnier

77 Owen Shaw

78 Cody Ornsbey

79 Drew Stanley

91 Travon Berry

99 Kendall Arrington

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