Many of McDowell’s passing records already have Casey Ray’s name beside them.
And they’re all subject to change with the senior returning for his third year as a varsity quarterback.
Ray was the only Titans football player named to the All-Mountain Athletic Conference team in 2014 after throwing for 1,781 yards and 10 touchdowns with 18 interceptions.
His single-season yardage and a 348-yard performance in a 36-34 loss to Roberson were both school records.
Ray comes into his final high school season having completed 203 of 419 attempts for 2,903 yards and 19 touchdowns. Jason Van Dyke, who played in the 1989 Shrine Bowl, is believed to be the only 3,000-yard passer that the Titans have ever produced. But the exact total of Van Dyke’s career yardage is unknown.
McDowell went 2-10 last season and has some experience back around Ray, including its top receiver yardage-wise – senior Ethan McMahan (36 catches for 604 yards and three touchdowns in 2014). Junior Chase Justice is a newcomer to the receiving corps that eighth-year coach Carson Gowan expects to contribute.
Blaise Parker, Chase Campbell, Isaiah Burch and Riley Harting are veteran linemen and Riley Harting is back at tight end in the team’s Multiple I offense. Everyone in that group is a senior with the exception of Burch, who is a junior.
Defensively, the Titans welcome back Campbell, junior Tre Spearman and senior Isaiah Smith up front. Junior Isman Martino returns at linebacker where he will be joined by a pair of newcomers – senior Tanner Allen and junior Damon McNeely.
Matt Moss and Tyler Banks have previously been part of the secondary, while fellow junior Terion Camp is a first-year addition.
McDowell’s season opener is Aug. 21 at R-S Central.
Note: A more complete preview of McDowell and other WNC football teams will be available in the Aug. 16 print edition of the Citizen-Times.