HAVELOCK - The Havelock Rams were looking to hit the ground running Monday when they joined teams across the state for the first day of high school football practice. 

With a new, but also familiar, coach in town in Caleb King, Havelock is eager to replace last year's memory of a bitter loss in the playoffs to Rocky Mount with a much better tasting one.

The Rams lost that game in the 3A Eastern Final in the final seconds.

With many starters returning, including three with Division-I scholarship offers, much is expected of the Rams in 2017.

"You have to continue to build on what you did in the summer but also you have to remember to never stop teaching," King said of practice. "You want things to be done fast but they also have to be done right."

Havelock will turn the quarterback position over to a new man this year, as Corey Cooper departed off last year's team.

Zach Sabdo and Christian Capps are the likely options.

Khalil Barrett, Avery Jones (UNC commit), Tyiyon Johnson and Solomon Beligotti are all back and are senior leaders for the team.

"We are always going to find ways to get our best players the ball, however that is," King said. "We want it to be that in order for you to beat us, you're going to have to beat our best players."

The Rams had had a nice turnout as King said they have just under 100 players (JV and varsity combined).

High school football is special to King and he doesn't let that get lost on his players.

During his post-practice speech to his team, King told them they had 94 more practices together. 

"People get lost in it, oh it's just another practice, this and that," King said. "High school football is likely the last time you're going to play with the guys you grew up with. It goes by too fast and I think mentioning it now in the dog days of August keeps it from sneaking up on them in November."

Havelock opens the season with former Coastal 3A Conference and cross-county rival West Craven, at home, on Aug. 18th.


Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at jordan.honeycutt@newbernsj.com