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Defense Wins Championships: A 2023 Football Season Outlook for The Sequoyah Chiefs

Introduction: The Sequoyah Chiefs High School football team is gearing up for a season of growth and improvement following a 5-6 record last year. While they did claim the Cherokee County title by beating the other five ocunty schools, the Chiefs are hoping for playoff success this year. With a consistent coaching staff and a talented roster, the Chiefs are poised to make another run.


Offense: The quarterback position was challenging due to injuries last season, resulting in six different starters. However, Kolby Martin appears to have won the starting job again this year. Last season, he completed 43% of his passes for 407 yards.


The offensive line, anchored by returning players Brady Curl, Dimitri Morris and Asher Martineau, will play a vital role in providing protection for the quarterback and creating opportunities for the running game. The Chiefs will need to find a few piees around Curl, Morris and Martineau to solidify the outside of the line.


The Chiefs' backfield boasts depth with Tyler Bell leading the way. Bell carried the ball 71 times for 323 yards and three touchdowns, showcasing his ability to find running lanes and contribute to the ground game. Ean Marria, among others, provides additional depth and options in the backfield.


The wide receiver position presents a question mark for the Chiefs, especially if they opt to spread their offense out more. Developing reliable and dynamic playmakers at the receiver position will be crucial in expanding the Chiefs' offensive capabilities.


Athlete Jackson Hancock proved himself as a versatile weapon last season. With 315 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns, 114 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns, and 570 kick return yards, Hancock brings explosive playmaking ability to the Chiefs' offense. His contributions will be instrumental in diversifying the offensive attack.


Defense:

On the defensive side, linebacker Taiwo Ogundele leads the charge for the Chiefs. Ogundele recorded 83 tackles, five tackles for loss, and four sacks last season. His tenacity and ability to disrupt opposing offenses will set the tone for the Chiefs' defense. Drew Zablotny, with 48 tackles, one tackle for loss, and three sacks, provides valuable support in the linebacking corps.


In the secondary, Bretton Darling emerged as a playmaker with 91 tackles, two tackles for loss, and three interceptions. His ability to read plays and make impactful stops will be vital for the Chiefs' pass defense.


The defensive line will be a position that the Chiefs will need to address. The Chiefs havea few options in Brady Curl and Ean Marria, both of who played on the defensive side of the ball at the end of the year. Given the talent in the linebacking core and secondary, the Chiefs should only need a few players to fill the gaps. However, if the Chiefs can find some solid talent, this defensive unit will rival last year.


Outlook: With a consistent coaching staff and a hard hitting roster, the Sequoyah Chiefs are poised to be a playoff team again this year. Their success against the county demonstrates their ability to compete, and now they aim to translate that success to other region teams.

The Chiefs' offensive output of averaging 16.3 points per game indicates room for improvement. Developing a cohesive passing game and expanding the options in the receiving corps will be key to bolstering their scoring potential. Defensively, Chiefs fans hope they can get more of the same from last season.


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