As the fall approaches, Pickens High football coach Chad Seaborn said he’s optimistic.
“Workouts have been going well,” Seaborn said. “We’ve had a few 7-on-7s with Palmetto, and we have a few more the next two weeks.”
The Blue Flame will host Easley in their opener Aug. 16, and Seaborn said they have a lot to accomplish between now and then.
First, Seaborn must choose a starting quarterback.
Last year’s starter, Wes Davis, graduated. Junior Mason Covey, sophomore Austin Clark and freshman Elijah Turner are in a three-way battle to gain the starting role.
Pickens also graduated leading rusher David Mansell. Senior Angus Anderson looks to provide experience in the Blue Flame backfield.
“Angus is fast, strong and elusive,” Seaborn said. “Over the summer, I believe that he will continue to develop as a leader.”
Leadership will be crucial to the Blue Flame’s success. Although Pickens will dress 46 upperclassmen this season, many of them have had little game experience.
“We saw a lot of new faces in the spring and during summer workouts,” Seaborn said. ” A lot of our 18 seniors are playing for the first time. I’m glad that they came out, but I just wish they had done it sooner.”
Chris Stewart and Alex Dalton will provide leadership on the offensive and defensive lines.
Newcomers Charlie Parris and Nathan Ellenburg should provide depth at linebacker. Returning starters Antron Wakefield, Cameron Holder and Jacob Smith provide experience in the middle of the defense.
Justin Francis and Tanner Saunders likely will start at the cornerbacks. Caleb Grant, Cameron Childs and Michael Hannah have gotten most of the work at free safety.
Junior Mason Covey is a versatile player who could help at both corner and safety.
“Our goal is always the same,” said Seaborn. “We want to get better every day — on the field, in the classroom, with our families, in our communities — and make a difference.”