9/5 @ Kingwood Park
9/12 Magnolia West
9/26 A&M Consolidated*
10/3 @ Bryan*
10/10 Caney Creek*
10/17 @ College Station*
10/31 @ Livingston*
* - District Game
HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- The Hornets welcome a new leader in 2014, former Belton head coach Rodney Southern. Southern was head coach at Belton from 2007 to 2013 and at Marshall from 2002 to 2006, leading the Mavericks to 4A Division I state championship games in 2004 and 2005.
Southern should have a solid squad to work with, as seven starters return on offense four return on defense. The offense has two D1 commits to build around in tackle Ronnie Major (Texas) and running back Morie Evans (Arizona State). Junior Rico Bennett will be counted on to replace Malik Brown under center, while Alec Tatum should step into the number one spot at receiver vacated by Christain Champine. “We will be able to count on our speed and depth at the skill positions,” said Southern. “We need to improve depth on the offensive and defensive lines.”
The Hornets will run a 33 Stack on defense, and return starters Richard Marshall and Mark Wheeler on the line, Michael Pena at linebacker, and Corey Hightower in the secondary.
The Hornets, now a 5A school after realignment and the renaming of classes, will open the season against traditional 3A (now 4A) contender Coldspring, before facing fellow 5A schools Kingwood Park and Magnolia West. The 18-5A slate, one Southern says is “Quality from top to bottom,” opens with a bang at home against district favorite A&M Consolidated. The Hornets have the talent to contend for a playoff spot, and if they can come together under their new coach they should be back in the postseason in 2014.