New Castle High begins the year with some new faces on its coaching staff.

However, there’s plenty of familiarity leading the Red Hurricane.

New head coach Stacy Robinson takes comfort in a double-digit senior class to help ease in the transition to a new era.

“They graduated a lot of good seniors from last year’s team, but we have a good and big senior class,” he said. “It’s something I have never really had when I was at Union. You want a big senior class because they are the ones you’re counting on to get the job done.”

However, it’s shaping up to be youngsters leading the way on offense. Sophomore Kyrell Harris is on track to start at quarterback.

“Kyrell has a lot of pressure on him. He has to know what everyone is doing on offense at every position,” Robinson said. “That’s a large task, but, for a sophomore, he is doing great.”

Senior Duane Shannonhouse could see some time at quarterback, but will mainly deploy at wide receiver along with the dynamic Tyler Leekins and Tayshaun Wilkins.

“They’ve been working hard on their pattern running and getting better each day,” Robinson said. “We have explosive people. We have to find a way to get the ball in their hands.”

New Castle hoped to lean heavily on wide receiver Owen Ciavarino, but the senior suffered an injury and will be out until the end of the season, at the earliest.

“We hope to get him back, but that remains to be seen,” Robinson said. “We miss him on both sides of the ball. He was going to be our free safety and the one getting people lined up and making calls. We have to learn to adjust.”

Junior Malik Jefferson and sophomore Kaevon Gardner will lead the running attack. Braylen Sibley, Ameir Akins and Bryce Wood will all see carries.

“Right now, that’s probably our strong point and I hope everything else gets caught up to it in a hurry,” Robinson said. “Malik and Kaevon are two of the hardest working guys on the team. They show up for work every day and I am excited to see what they can do behind our line.”

Antonio Gardner, Robert Reid and Nyeem Rodgers are back to anchor the line. Those three will see time on the defensive line, too, along with Markus Evans and Wood.

“Probably our deepest group is the defensive line,” Robinson said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to rotate guys in and out of there to keep them fresh throughout the game.”

Malik Jefferson, Isaiah Jefferson, Tristan Marapese, Joe Vanazia and Sibley could all see time at linebacker with Marquise Cureton, Wilkins, Leekins and Shannonhouse in the secondary.

“I think the bottom line is, they want to win, just like I want to win. I see our coaching staff working hard to get better and I see the players working hard to get better, so there’s a common goal there,” Robinson said.

“Things are going along just as well as expected. There still remains a lot to be figured out. It’s a work in progress.”

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