3A Countdown: No. 9 Jasper Boasts Proven Skill Players
The Jasper Bulldogs enter the 2012 season having endured their fifth coaching change in seven seasons, but they have the skill position players to force opposing defenses into tough situations.
Steven Walker earned his stripes as a sophomore last season, when he guided Jasper to a 6-5 record and first-round playoff appearance against eventual Class 3A Division I state champion Chapel Hill. He’ll join talented athlete Demarcus Collins on the offensive side of the ball. Collins, a potential Division I recruit, will be Walker’s most dangerous pass-catching target after averaging 23.4 yards per catch in 2011.
Three players by the name of Cuney -- senior linebacker DeAnthony, junior tailback Terrance, and junior offensive lineman Terrell -- will give Jasper great size at three different positions. DeAnthony Cuney returns after collecting 122 tackles last season.
Jasper probably won’t be able to challenge Carthage for the District 20-3A championship, but the Dogs from down south should be next in line in the league race along with Center. Jasper, which beat Center 31-28 last season, travels to Shelby County for this year’s matchup, which falls on the final night of the regular season.
With Carthage’s enrollment surpassing Jasper’s in the February realignment, Jasper will go to the Division II playoff bracket and likely face Fairfield (10-1 in 2011) or Rusk, which features standout tailback Chaston Bennett. The draws are favorable for Jasper to win a couple of playoff games if the Bulldogs get rolling late in the season and respond positively to the new coaching staff.