Peabody-Burns sets sights on HOA title shot

The following seniors and letter-winners will form the foundation for the Peabody-Burns football team this fall. Pictured are: back row (from left), Derrick Simmons, Andrew Loucks, Nathan Bishop, Jason Unruh, David Pickens, Trevor Hamm; middle row: Adam Benson, Anthony Jones, Cole Welsh, Will Pratt, Nick Abromowich, Brady Maxwell; front row: Sean Corona, Todd Woodruff, Eric Dutton, Thomas McGee, Ben Eldridge.

Peabody-Burns High School football coach David Pickens will have 17 letter-winners at his disposal as the Warriors work to improve on last season’s record.

The Warriors lost four players from last year, and return four seniors from a unit that went 5-4 in 2005.

“We will be competitive in every game, and we will be better than last year,” Pickens said. “The team right now has the goal set to try to compete for the (Heart of America) league title.”

The 2006 Warriors will have depth and quickness in their arsenal.

“Our team speed is really excellent this year,” Pickens said.

Junior Trevor Hamm will play running back on offense and return to anchor the line on defense. He was an All-HOA honorable-mention defensive lineman last season.

Hamm will be joined in the offensive backfield by returning All-HOA honorable-mention running back Nathan Bishop, a junior who will play linebacker on defense.

Ben Eldridge, a junior, will also play running back on offense and linebacker on defense.

Senior Todd Woodruff nearly earned All-HOA honors at quarterback, and returns to his free safety position on defense.

William Pratt will have offensive line and linebacker duties. He handled punting and kicking duties last year, and his performance earned him an all-league honorable mention as a kick specialist.

“William Pratt is an outstanding punter and kicker,” Pickens said.

In addition to Pratt, the offensive line will have 6-foot-7, 275-pound junior Andrew Loucks alongside classmate and all-league honorable mention offensive lineman Nick Abromowich.

“Last year (Loucks) had limited playing time, but this year I’m looking for him to be an offensive tackle and defensive tackle,” Pickens said.

As for Abromowich, Pickens said, “His best position is probably offensive guard, and I can’t decide whether to stick him at defensive end or at outside linebacker.”

Senior Eric Dutton will play center and senior Jason Unruh will play tackle.

Taking snaps for the Warriors will be senior quarterback Derrick Simmons. His targets for passing will include Adam Benson and sophomores Elliot Spechtenhauser and Brandon Pickens.

On defense, Loucks, Dutton and Unruh will line up at defensive tackle. Abromowich and Pickens will play defensive end.

The defensive secondary will include Woodruff, Benson, Spechtenhauser and Simmons.

Coach Pickens had 27 athletes turn out for summer camp, two of whom were impressive beyond expectations: junior Sean Corona and senior Cole Welsh.

“We were pretty young last year,” Pickens said. “I’ve got a little bit of luxury this year that I have at least a backup for every position.

“Some of those guys are pretty good athletes, so they push our starters pretty hard.”

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