Havelock going for a third straight state championship

havelock football

Havelock wildcat quarterback Taylor Woods throws the football as head coach Jim Bob Bryant looks on during a recent practice. The Rams are scheduled to open the 2013 season Friday at Washington.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 06:47 PM.

Havelock football coach Jim Bob Bryant wants his players to know one thing as they get ready to begin the 2013 season: They’re not state champions.

"It’s a new year. It’s a new team," he said. "Everybody starts the season 0-0. You don’t start 16-0. Everybody in the state has the same record going into the opening game."

Havelock is coming off back-to-back state 3A championships, and in the eyes of many state high school football prognosticators, is the favorite to win a third straight title this season.

"They can’t believe the hype and what people are talking about, three-peat and all that kind of stuff," said Bryant, whose Rams were 15-1 last season. "We have to play one game at a time. We can’t think about the playoffs or state championships until you think about the first game.

"We can’t get to the state title without winning that first game, and then the second game, and then the third game. We can’t look ahead. We’ve got to focus on one game at a time, because each week there’s going to be challenges. We just have to keep overcoming the challenges each week."

Havelock’s challenges this year come in the form of inexperience on the offensive and defensive lines and a new quarterback who must replace the school’s record-holder for single-season all-purpose yardage in Pharoh Cooper. Cooper, the most valuable player of last year’s state championship game, is now playing at South Carolina.

Bryant said he is looking to junior Travis Sabdo (6-foot-1, 180 pounds), who threw a touchdown pass in last year’s state title game, as the starter but admits that sophomore Kyran Bowman (6-1, 160) and junior Jordan Begley (6-2, 180) are in the mix.

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