This year, the script has been flipped. The Wolverines return all five of their offensive linemen, and quarterback
"You win the game up front. You can put pieces around those guys, but to also have a quarterback with the experience that Mike had last year, to return a guy of that caliber, it really makes it easy," Gresham said. "Last year, those senior receivers did a good job of making him look good. This year, he has to do a good job of making these receivers look good. We look for that leadership. We're only going to go as far as he and the offensive line take us."
Youth and injuries on the offensive line last season caused the offense to get off to a sluggish start. Center
"We were young last year, and we got a lot of experience," Williams said. "We took our bumps and bruises, and that made us stronger and helped us come together to become a better offensive line this year."
Replacing Johnson -- who now plays for Auburn -- was no easy task. After battling with Draequon Murphy early in the year, McKenney eventually won the starting quarterback spot.
Carver seniors combined for 2,385 of the Wolverines' 2,656 receiving yards, and 25 of the 30 touchdowns.
"I'm just trying to improve on my mistakes from last year. Just watching film and trying to lead my team to a championship," McKenney said. "The difference is, I don't have to work to compete against somebody. I'm competing against myself, and just working to get myself better."
On the defensive side, five-star linebacker
Even with all of the big names, Gresham said he expects the most from defensive end
"We're just going off the coaches and the guys before us who showed us how to play the position and work hard," Scott said. "I think if we keep focused and do what we're doing right now, then we're going to do well during the season."
But Gresham said the biggest challenge for this year is to replace the leadership from linebacker
"The biggest thing with losing Hamilton is losing that leader. He kind of spoiled us as coaches because he was a student of the game and he made a lot of calls for us," Gresham said. "We're looking for a few of these guys to take over that leadership role. The best thing defensively, we're still returning nine starters. So we have to make sure those guys gel well together, and find out who's going to be that leader."
Carver opens the season with an exhibition against
"Our goal every year -- no matter who we lose or who we have -- is to win a state championship. We tell the guys that the only way we can achieve that is to play tough competition, and what better opportunity to play
G.W. CARVER WOLVERINES
Region: Class 6A, Region 2
2013: 10-3 (5-2 Class 6A, Region 3)
Best-case scenario: QB
Worst-case scenario: A strong regular season comes to a heartbreaking end again deep in the playoffs, leaving Carver still seeking a trophy.
Prattville W, 20-7
Central-Phenix City W, 23-11
at Opelika L, 20-7
at Tri-Cities (Ga.) W, 50-21
Auburn L, 38-20
at Smiths Station W, 41-7
at Sidney Lanier W, 63-0
at Anniston W, 41-14
at Blount W, 31-12
Fairhope W, 33-6
at Auburn L, 42-35
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