#8SportsBlitz Preseason Preview: Henrico and J.R. Tucker

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico Warriors had high expectations for 2015, but it finished just as 2014 did: with a first round playoff loss to Hermitage. In 2016, the core of those two playoff teams is gone. Henrico lost 27 seniors from the 2015 team, and 17 of them went on to play college football. Despite that mass exodus, Head Coach Gerald Glasco is not worried. According to Glasco, he had kids on the JV team that were only there because of the logjam of seniors. He’s excited to get a new crop of juniors and sophomores that could have played varsity last season. The Warriors will be young and fast. the defense has been the meal ticket over the past two seasons, and that should not change with junior Akeem Smith leading the defensive line and seniosr D’Andre Walker and Lawrence Chambers in the secondary. The offense will be led by sophomore quarterback Jaylon Jones, and he will hand the ball off early and often to running back Tyrell Ellison. The Warriors are full of potential, and how fast Glasco can get them ready for the varsity level will determine if they make a third-straight playoff run or need another year to mature.

J.R. Tucker’s opening schedule in 2016 is brutal, and the Tigers could see a repeat of the 2015 season, when they started 0-4. The good news is the 2015 squad ended the season 5-1. The bad news is most of that team is gone. George Earle is in his fifth year in charge of the program, and he has to hope the kids on JV watched the previous four. None of Tucker’s offensive linemen has played a varsity snap. Only one starter returns on offense. Earle believes the team is athletic enough to overcome its experiential shortcomings, but the Tigers are thin as well. Demi Adepegba, Rayshon Walker, and Terrae McCann are three Tigers who will play both ways. Tucker is the smallest school in the state in 5A, but the Tigers still believe a playoff run is a strong possibility. 6-4 could get them there, but only if the young bucks come together to form a strong herd.

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