2023 season preview: Point looks to take a step forward in year two under Zeiders

Published 3:30 pm Saturday, August 26, 2023

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By Pacey Strickland


Point’s football team will be coming into its twelfth season as a program and the second season under Head Coach Trevor Zeiders. 

Since beginning its football program, Point has not secured a winning season. However, the Skyhawks saw some improvement last season under Zeiders where they finished with a 4-7 record. 

That record is good enough for the second best since Point began its program. Zeiders obviously wants to continue improving on that record next season. 

Point saw some improvements to its defense under Zeiders. In 2021, the defense allowed over 39 points per game. Last season, they were able to drop that number to 25.2 points per game. 

The offense only averaged 19.7 points per game last season, but several players will be returning and that number should improve. 



The offense will be more of the same from last season. Point returns several players at the quarterback position as well as several wide receivers. 

“We definitely got better both throwing and running,” Zeiders said. “We have to figure that out, but they’ve had a year in the system and in this scheme.” 

Zeiders believes that the passing game did not improve as much as he would have liked during his first season. He hopes to see the team get better after a year in the system. 

“There were multiple games where we didn’t execute the way needed to be as successful as we could have been,” Zeiders said. 

Zeiders felt like the running game did some good things last season, but he’d like to see them become more efficient in year two. 

The running back room will have several returning players as well as freshmen that will make an impact this season. 



The quarterback position for Point is one that is still very open for competition. The starter will likely not be named until after fall camp. 

“So quarterback right now is a wide open competition,” Zeiders said. “We’ve got multiple guys who we think can get it done, but we’ve got to see how they do come camp.” 

There will be three returning quarterbacks from last season as well as two freshmen added into the fold. 

Mitchell Gossett played in 10 games for Point last season and passed for just over 1,000 yards. Austin Adcock will be in the mix. He played four games for Point last season. Payton Allen from Chambers Academy will be a returning quarterback that will also be in the mix to compete for the starting job. 

Johnny Crowe and Samir Wylie are two incoming freshmen that could steal the job away in fall camp. 


Running Backs 

Sensir Carnes was expected to be Point’s leader at running back going into last season. However, a knee injury kept him limited for most of the season. 

“There’s gonna be some competition, but so far Sensir Carnes has been kind of our leader the last couple of years there,” Zeiders said. “He’s taken a majority of the carries until he hurt his knee last year. He’s back to full strength.” 

Carnes is expected to be the main focal point for the Skyhawks’ running back group, but several other players will contribute. 

D’Ontae Eatmon rushed for 184 yards last season, and he will be a contributor again this season. Isaac Jones redshirted last season, but he will play a bigger role next season. 

Trey Turner and AJ Rathbun will also be returning. Both players were limited by injuries last season and will see bigger roles. 

Nadir Mitchell was Point’s leading rusher last season as a freshman. Mitchell will not be playing this season. Mitchell will be redshirting for undisclosed “team purposes.” 

Zeiders believes that incoming freshmen Tony Inge, Hakem Hodges and Khalif Walters could add elements to Point’s run game. 

“We’re excited about what the running game can bring this year out of the backfield, and it is a wide open competition because we believe the best guy should play,” Zeiders said. 


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Emery Bryant was Point’s leading receiver last season with 709 yards. Bryant will again be leaned on heavily.

Nick Marien was Point’s starter at tight end last season, and he will be even more involved in the passing game this season. 

Javien Leeks and Quintravious Teasley are expected to be the two starters at the slot. The biggest competition right now is with the last receiver spot. 

“There’s a battle there,” Zeiders said. 

Jared Posey could be the guy that ends up taking the job, but Zeiders said that there will be around seven freshmen that could compete for the position. 

Marien will take the bulk of the snaps at tight end, but Ryan Jenkins is a freshman that could see some snaps. 


Offensive Line

Taylor Hogan will once again be the starter at center for Point after taking the starting job last season. 

One of the starting guards will likely be Sterling Caldwell. Caldwell took the starting job toward the end of the season last year. The second guard position will be a competition going into fall camp. 

“The other guard position, kind of up for grabs,” Zeiders said. 

Sammy Williams could end up being a starter at guard. Due to numbers, he played at tackle during the spring. 

The tackle positions could be very young for Point this season. Thaddeus Fields is an incoming freshman from Beauregard High School that could compete for a starting job. Emmanuel Connelly is another freshman that could be a starter next season. 

Cameron Leach is a returning player that could also compete for the starting position. Leach suffered an injury that forced him to sit out during the spring. 

“I think Cam Leach will end up being a starter, Sammy Williams, Taylor Hogan, Sterling Caldwell and that fifth job is kind of going to be the one that’s up for grabs,” Zeiders said. 




Just like the offense, the defense for Point will be returning several starters from last season. 

“I mean right now defensively we get pretty much our five d-linemen back, we get five of our six linebackers back and then we get seven secondary guys back that played for us last year,” Zeiders said. 

With this much experience returning to the defense, Zeiders expects the unit to be much better this season. 

“They’ve seen a lot of stuff,” Zeiders said. 

Zeiders believed that the defense saw some major improvements last season. However, he expects even more improvement to happen in his second season. 

“Well, I think it can make us much better all the way across the board,” Zeiders said. “You know, there’s a lot of things that I expect us to be better at.” 

One of the improvements that Zeiders wants to see is in the run defense. Zeiders hopes to see them allow 20 less yards per game on the ground this season than the team allowed last season. 


Defensive Line

The defensive line should be a very deep position this season, and many different players could see playing time. 

“Well, we’ll obviously rotate a decent amount there,” Zeiders said. “There’s going to be about 10 to 12 guys play up front.” 

James Bryant should be a starter on the defensive line. This will be his fourth season with Point, but he will have an extra year of eligibility due to Covid. 

Nick Ford took last season off, but he played a good bit the year prior. Ford should be another key player on the defensive line.
Thaddious Parson is an incoming freshman from Minor High School and should also play a major role on the defensive line. 

“I think he could be a really big game changer for us,” Zeiders said. 

Julius Bullard from LaFayette High School will be another player that will rotate on the defensive line. The biggest loss will be Gavin Graham. Graham won Defensive Freshman of the Year last season, but he will be redshirting this season due to undisclosed “team issues.”

“After those guys, we’ve just got to see how some of these young pups are gonna work in,” Zeiders said.



Kemorion Markin will be the incumbent starter at SAM linebacker this year after making second team all conference last season. The other inside linebacker position is much more up for grabs at this point. 

“There’s going to be a battle with the MIKE linebacker position between San Juan Warner and Ethan Binns,” Zeiders said. “Both return. Both played last year. Both had a really good spring.” 

BJ Finley will be replacing Aaron Anderson, an all-american last season. Finley has backed up Anderson for the past three seasons, but he will have to try to replace some of the production this season. 

Cortez Thomas, Ahmari Thomas and Liam Rogers are all players that Zeiders believes could see the field quickly at linebacker. 


Defensive Backs

The defensive back room is another experienced group for Point. Seven players will be returning at defensive back. 

Davyon Dukes and Caleb Wade are expected to be the two starters at safety. Duke played more at corner last season due to his versatility. 

Roman Jones, Kere Thomas and Shakwan Bickley all played at corner last season for Point. Each could start and get playing time this season. Jones will also be a backup safety. 

“Bickley had probably one of the best springs of anybody, so Bickley may start,” Zeiders said. 

Having some players that can play both safety and corner will add some versatility to the defense. 

“Well, it really helps because it allows you to get into some things that people aren’t necessarily prepared for,” Zeiders said. 


Special Teams

Last season, Point went into the year with only freshmen at kicker and punter. Giovanni Martinez kicked the most field goals last season and made half of his field goal attempts and 96% of his extra point attempts. 

Matthew Moses played 11 games at punter, and he averaged 32.1 yards per punt. Even with these two returning, Zeiders plans on having an open competition in camp. 

“It’s still a big competition going into camp,” Zeiders said.

Zeiders believes that a couple of new additions could come in and challenge the incumbent starters. Christian Ceja from LaGrange High School will be a new addition as well as Steven Earnest who transferred from Taylor University. Zeiders believes that Ceja could add another element to Point’s kicking because he is a lefty. 

Garrett Marcin is an addition at long snapper that Zeiders hopes will improve a position that struggled last season.