Hayesville preview: Improvement in sight?

Hayesville preview: Improvement in sight?


Hayesville preview: Improvement in sight?


HAYESVILLE – Rebuilding is a patient-minded process.

Unless you belong to a league like the Smoky Mountain Conference, which has produced four state football champions since 2011.

Hayesville coach Mitch Myers appreciates the speed and strength gains his players have made in the past year. But he also knows that everything must be accelerated.

Myers was a coach at Cherokee, Franklin and Murphy before coming out of retirement in 2014.

“We’ve had a year together, and the kids are showing a lot of improvement,” Myers said.

“They’re all working hard and have good attitudes. We still don’t have the (participation) numbers that we would like. But if we have some success, others will show up and that’s what we’re counting on. It’s always tough (in the SMC). I don’t know that there is really anyone you can count out.”

Nine starters (five offense, four defense) return from a 2-9 Hayesville team that lost all six of its SMC games last fall.

Incumbent quarterback Kyle Rhinehardt (474 yards and one touchdown with five interceptions in 2014) is a junior who is expected to resume his duties. He will operate the Yellow Jackets’ Split-T offense out of the shotgun and under center. Josh Harris (734, five touchdowns) is poised for a big senior year at running back.

Their protection and blocking will come from such veteran offensive linemen as seniors Jacob Matheson and Parker Moore. Zach Raxter and Logan Thurman are both juniors.

Noah Finnegan had his 11th grade season cut short by a broken leg but should be one of Rhinehardt’s most-targeted receivers.

Matheson, Moore and junior Brad Jones all saw time on Hayesville’s defensive line in 2014. As of now, senior John Leek is one of the Yellow Jackets’ few established linebackers.

Finnegan and Rhinehardt should be two names to look for in the secondary, along with sophomores Brian Smith and Colton Thomas.

Senior Adrian Arteaga is back as the team’s kicker.

Hayesville will face three opponents from Georgia and Tennessee before a Sept. 11 trip to Enka.


Conference: Smoky Mountain 1-A.
Coach: Mitch Myers (61-68 career record).
Offense: Split-T.
Defense: Multiple 4-3.
2014 record: 2-9, 0-6.
Returning starters: Nine (five offense, four defense).
Predicted conference finish: Sixth.


No. | Player | Pos. | Year | Height | Weight

11    Kyle Rhinehardt    Junior    6’1”    183
23    Jacob Matheson    Senior    6’3”    210
8    Noah Finnegan    Senior    6’0”    161
78    Abraham Beltran    Senior    5’10”    325
44    John Leek    Senior    5’10”    165
50    Adrian Arteaga    Senior    5’9”    205
20    Braxton Cox    Senior    6’0”    178
1    Owen Gibson    Senior    5’11”    170
25    Hunter Hughes    Sophomore    5’8”    130
51    Jace Cotton    Sophomore    5’10”    150
63    Bronson Kirby    Junior    6’0”    210
56    Josiah Finnegan    Junior    6’0”    170
4    Dalton Taylor    Junior    5’11”    165
70    Parker Moore    Senior    5’11”    245
32    Josh Harris    Senior    5’9”    260
60    Christian Arteaga    Junior    5’10”    186
62    Christian Sawyer    Sophomore    5’8”    175
79    Brad Jones    Junior    6’2”    210
41    Logan Cowart    Sophomore    6’3”    230
7    Nathan Barolet    Sophomore    5’10”    165
3    Brian Smith    Sophomore    5’7”    155
40    Ralph Pelletier    Sophomore    5’7”    150
64    Brandon Lance    Sophomore    5’11”    290
18    Cory Deese    Sophomore    5’8”    150
5    Colton Thomas    Sophomore    5’9”    165
55    Cordell Lands    Junior    5’11”    210
2    Chayton McClure    Junior    5’11”    150
68    Dylan Curtis    Senior    5’10”    180
15    Thomas Cothren    Sophomore    5’8”    140
58    Dalton Long    Sophomore    5’9”    185
54    Logan Thurman    Junior    6’1”    240
52    Zach Raxter    Junior    5’9”    205
59    Carlos Olvera    Senior    5’10”    220


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Hayesville preview: Improvement in sight?

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