Last year, Donoho had arguably one of the best quarterback-receiver combinations in Calhoun County, which helped the Falcons finish second in their region.
However, with the loss of brothers Chris and Kevin Carr, the Falcons are looking to rebuild. They’ll do it around a centerpiece player in Justin Foster, one of the top recruits in Alabama.
Foster plays running back and more. Head coach Shannon Felder is looking to get his prized recruit lined up in the best possible position during games.
“Justin will play a big role for us on offense, as well as defense,” Felder said. “He can lineup in multiple positions, and I think that’ll help us. On offense, he will line up at quarterback, fullback, H-back, or tight end at any point during a game. We’ll have him all over the field, except on the line.
“Having him on the team is certainly a big asset, but we also have some guys I’m looking forward to watching play this year as well.”
It’s that supporting cast that Felder is hoping will lead Donoho back to the playoffs. Despite having a roster of only 24 players, Felder already has his eye on a few players who could become potential playmakers for the Falcons in 2014.
He singled out senior fullback Ben Myrick, the sophomore receiver-duo of Mitchell Baker and Garrett Steed, and two guys who will split time quarterback, senior Trey Brown and junior Chandler Collins, as some of those players who have caught his eye.
“I’m excited about the guys we have coming back this year,” he said. “I think we have a lot of guys who have the ability to make big plays for us.”
Last season, Donoho put on a show offensively en route to finishing with a 7-3 record, which included a heartbreaking 20-14 loss to Berry in the first round of the playoffs.
With the Falcons moving to Class 1A, Region 5 after the latest Alabama High School Athletic Association realignment, their defense, led by returning 1A honorable-mention all-state linebacker Samuel Garner, will see a lot of unfamiliar offenses this season.
“For us, we are in a tough region, Felder said. “We are in a region that has a lot of teams, who, we believe, have the potential to win a couple of rounds in the playoffs. Whoever those four teams are, we think they can win a few rounds in the playoffs, so we hope to be one of those four teams.
Foster and Garner lead a group of nine seniors back, and are eager to lay the foundation for the future Donoho success, similar to the 2006 season, which saw the Falcons set a team record by winning 12 games and advancing to the third round of the playoffs.
“We have to put in the hard work, be determined, and stay hungry,” Foster said.
Foster said he likes how everybody has worked during the offseason.
“I think everybody is doing pretty well,” Foster said. “Everyone is working hard, so I don’t think we’ll miss a beat.”
Foster also mentioned he is excited to work behind the Donoho offensive line, which paved the way for his 48-yard rushing touchdown in a 14-13 spring jamboree win over Wadley.
“Well, we have a lot of experience in our offensive line,” Foster said. “Everyone has at least one year of experience under their belt, so I think they’ll do pretty good this year.”