Coming off playing for a state championship, the Summit High School football team knows what it takes to get to the final game of the season. However, right now, they just want to get in a game – any game.
“Right now, there’s still a lot of unknowns and not being able to scrimmage or play 7-on-7s means we have none of that game experience we usually try to build before the season, but we’re just excited to be able play despite all the challenges,” Spartans coach Brian Coleman said.
“It’s tougher now and we are further away than ever from getting back there,” he added, referring to making it to the title game last year. “We have the targets on our backs so we will get everybody’s best games, but bring it on, we are excited to be able to play.”
Coleman does return his 1-2 punch in junior twins Keaten and Destin Wade. The two heavily-recruited brothers and multisport studs are back to lead a Summit team that reached the Class 5A state title game for the first time in 2019 after not winning a game just five years prior as a developing program and young school.
Keaten rushed for 15 touchdowns and gained 1,152 yards to lead the Summit ground game last season. He also racked up 103 tackles with 22.5 for loss, including 11.5 sacks as leader on defense. Destin, who missed some time due to an ankle injury, closed with 1,341 yards passing with 17 TDs. He also rushed for 10 more scores in leading the offense.
“It’s so easy to promote these guys,” Coleman said of the 6-foot-4 duo. “They’re just great kids to be around. I do think Destin will be a bit rusty when we get going, but that’s expected for everyone without being able to replicate those live reps you get from scrimmages and preseason games.”
Coleman, who has some holes to plug on the defensive line still because of graduation, said he will look to senior linebacker Gavin Wells (6-1, 185), senior nose guard Jesse Brimeyer (6-0, 205) as well as Brady Pierce, a 5-11, 180-pound junior free safety for leadership roles this season.
Junior Caleb Jolley will join Keaten Wade on the outside defensively, while seniors Konata Werts and Jackalean Cotton both return at corner.
Coleman said Cotton and senior Tre Hunter (6-0, 200) will help shoulder some of the rushing duties as well and junior tackle Matthew Mullen, junior center Ty Garber and guard Sam Jewell will be relied on in the trenches.
“We have been working on depth a lot,” Coleman said. “We want to be three deep at each position to be safe. It’s different this year and there’s a lot of worries we can’t control, but we are staying positive and just jacked up to be able to get back out there.”
2020 Summit Spartans at a glance
Last Season’s Record: 12-3, lost to Knoxville Central in the Class 5A state championship.
Head Coach: Brian Coleman, 39-31 entering seventh season.
Key Returners: Destin Wade, Jr., QB; Keaten Wade, Jr., RB/LB; Caleb Jolley, Sr., LB; Gavin Wells, Sr., LB; Jesse Brimeyer, Sr., NG.
Key Losses: Kiston Arnold, Jaylen Herrud, George Odimegwu, Will Bond, Andrew Pierce.