2007 Varsity Preview: Muskegon Heights

Daquante Caviness

Michigan Varsity continues our preview of the upcoming high school season in Michigan. The Muskegon Heights Tigers were a few points away from a playoff berth last season. With maybe the west side's most talented defensive unit coming back, can they pull out more of the close ones this year?

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS TIGERS
Head Coach:
Tommie Elliott
2006 Record: 4-5

SCHEDULE
Thurs 8/23 @Grand Rapids Central 7PM
Thurs 8/30 @Middleville Thornapple Kellogg 7PM
Fri 9/7 Grand Rapids Union 7PM
Fri 9/14 Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills 7PM
Fri 9/21 Muskegon Catholic Central 7PM
Fri 9/28 @Grand Rapids Christian 7PM
Fri 10/5 @Saginaw Nouvel 7PM
Fri 10/12 Ann Arbor Huron 7PM
Fri 10/19 Montague 7PM


KEY LOSSES
WR David Fox
CB Shane Pennington
FB/RB William Humphries
RB/DB Ramal Roby (transfer)

OVERVIEW
Frustrating is a good word to describe the Tigers' 2006 season. Four of the team's five losses were by 6 points or less, for a combined total of 10 points. But, Heights has been young the past two seasons and there is a strong senior group ready to make a playoff run.

Anthony Moore returns at quarterback and he'll direct a veer offense which features an all senior backfield. Jarvis Briggs and Eric Carter are the slot backs and they are both speedy, dangerous runners with the ball. Expect the two of them to bear a lot of the load on offense, with Torrey Walls at the fullback position. At wide receiver, David Fox is off to Central Michigan, but Omar Haynes may be one of the state's best kept secrets. The 6'3 Haynes has size and strength and will not only outjump defensive backs for the ball, but his blocking will be key as well. Marquis Brewer returns to split opposite Haynes. On the offensive line, Kyle Jackson is one of the state's best centers. Super strong with a good base, he'll open the way along with seniors Steve Winston and Brandon Henderson. Junior Ken McDaniels returns as the other tackle and the coaches are high on sophomore Derrick Horne.

On defense, Winston terrorized opponents for 13 sacks and 89 tackles last year and he'll lead an excellent front seven. Jackson is stout inside along with 300-lb junior DeMarcus Morris-Erving. Anchoring the defense on the nose will be sophomore Reginald Davis. The linebackers are big and can run, DaQuante Caviness (6'0, 255) and McDaniels (6'2, 250) will be moved all around and both could even see time as rush ends. They are an imposing duo who will clog up the middle of their 5-2 alignment. The secondary is looking solid with Briggs, a D1 prospect locking down one side and the speedy Carter on the other. Laquante Walker is a fine athlete at one safety spot and junior Bobby White, a standout on JV a year ago will step into the other starting spot.

BOTTOM LINE
This is a team full of athletes and talent. The defense is shaping up to be one of the westside's best as the Tigers have size, strength and speed to burn. On offense, they have the talent as well, but must limit mistakes and take care of the ball better. They are a team built to muck it up in the harsh weather later in the season though and they have the ability to really bully opponents around. Coach Elliott has this team focused, which is a big key, and it shouldn't come as a surprise if this group makes a playoff appearance.


Senior DE Steve Winston

PROJECTED STARTERS
OFFENSE
QB Anthony Moore Sr
FB Torrey Walls Sr
SB Jarvis Briggs Sr
SB Eric Carter Sr
WR DeLawrence "Omar" Haynes Sr
WR Marquis Brewer Sr
OT Brandon Henderson Sr
OT Ken McDaniels Jr
G Steve Winston Sr
G Derrick Horne So
C Kyle Jackson Sr
DEFENSE
DE Steve Winston Sr
DT Kyle Jackson Sr
DT Demarcus Morris-Erving Jr
NT Reginald Davis So
LB/DE Mark Spears Sr
ILB Daquante Caviness Sr
ILB Ken McDaniels Jr
CB Jarvis Briggs Sr
S Laquante Walker Sr
S Bobby White Jr
CB Eric Carter Sr

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