Terrell County junior quarterback Jerkerious Scott, who will line up behind five new starters on the offensive line, started four games under center as a freshman and all 11 games last season.
DAWSON -- The question posed to Terrell County's Dekoven Ware was "Can you get back to the playoffs?"
For Ware, there was no question. He spoke in absolutes.
"We're going back," Ware said after thinking about the Greenwave's first-round playoff loss at Johnson County last season.
And when Ware says it like he does, you tend to believe him.
Ware, a Dynamite Dozen selection, was a huge target at tight end last year and a fire starter at defensive end for the Greenwave as a junior in a 5-6 campaign. Nearly everybody in Dawson will admit there are question marks on the 34-man roster, but with Ware, fellow senior fullback Basheer Rogers and junior quarterback Jerkerious Scott, coaches believe Terrell has the skill to compete for its fifth playoff appearance in the last seven seasons.
Five new starters on the offensive line will have a lot to say about that.
"It's five new faces," said Terrell County head coach William Huff, entering his 13th season. "We've got to survive and compete (in non-region play early). Hopefully the lineman will be a lot better (when region play starts)."
Huff wanted to shake things up a little to help balance out losses in the backfield from a season ago so he decided to move Ware around the field. He'll play some wideout and tight end but will also see time at wingback in the Wing-T offense.
"I want to run the ball and help my team out more," said Ware, a power post player on the basketball team who has slimmed down to about 215 pounds.
Huff said about the move, "It's going to be interesting. (Ware) is a big athletic body and he runs pretty well. He's got great hands, probably the best on the team, and he runs the best routes."
Rogers, a three-year starter at fullback and linebacker, has been a workhorse throughout his career crashing through the middle of defenses.
"He's a rock," Huff said of Rogers. "He's here every day. He doesn't complain about anything. He's the hardest worker we've got."
Sophomore wingback Jatori Jones will also provide speed on the edge for the next few years at Terrell County. Scott, who started four games under center as a freshmen and then all 11 games a season ago, provides experience at quarterback for the Greenwave.
"He's a coach on the field," Huff said about his junior QB. "The kids look to him for leadership. He can tell everybody what to do on every play. He's that smart."
For everything to run smoothly, though, that inexperienced offensive line will have to mature quickly.
"They're some young'ens," Ware said. "We're expecting them to get better day by day."
"I've got faith in them," added Scott.
The o-line, averaging about 205 pounds across the front, is the lightest it's been in years under Huff.
"They're scrappy and they run pretty well," he said.
And since Terrell will have eight players go both ways, many of the first-year starters on the offensive line will be the same up front on defense. Ware is the only returning starter on the d-line and a freshman, defensive tackle Keandre Vanover, will start for the first time in nearly five years at Terrell.
Rogers, Ware and junior linebacker Jamiere Dennard will help lead the Greenwave's front seven or eight, depending on the defense, and the secondary is talented with Jones, Scott and senior Jevanta Daniels patrolling over the top.
Terrell County opens the season Friday at Hugh Mills Stadium against Monroe, a larger program that will test them immediately. And that's exactly what Huff wants for his younger players.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," Huff said. "If (Monroe) coach (Charles) Truitt doesn't kill us then we'll be better for region play."
Terrell County's 2011 season outlook
HEAD COACH: William Huff (14th season as head coach at Terrell County; 14th overall).
2010 RECORD: 5-6.
ASSISTANT COACHES: Jack Harris (defensive coordinator/LBs); Carlos Diaz (OL/DL); Terrance Moon (OL/DL); Raphael Kirby (special teams/RBs/LBs); Patrick Cuff (WRs/ DBs/K).
RETURNING STARTERS: Jerkerious Scott (Jr., QB); Basheer Rogers (Sr., RB); Dekoven Ware (Sr., DE); Vonta Daniels (Sr., DB).
KEY PLAYERS: Jutori Jones (So., RB/DB); Antwan Cody (Jr., OL/DL); Raymond Huckaby (Sr., RB/LB).
2011 Terrell Co. Greenwave schedule
Aug 26 Fri 7:30 PM Monroe (1-AAA) Away
Sep 02 Fri 7:30 PM Seminole County (1-A)* Home
Sep 09 Fri 7:30 PM Lee County (1-AAAA) Away
Sep 15 Thu 7:30 PM Spencer (5-AA) Columbus Mem Stad
Sep 23 Fri 7:30 PM Miller County (1-A)* Away
Sep 30 Fri 7:30 PM Calhoun County (1-A)* Home
Oct 07 Fri 7:30 PM Randolph-Clay (1-A)* Home
Oct 14 Fri 7:30 PM Pelham (1-A)* Away
Oct 28 Fri 7:30 PM Stewart County (1-A)* Away
Nov 04 Fri 7:30 PM Mitchell County (1-A)* Home