We tell you everything you need to know about the 2023 Berrien football team, including roster changes and what fans can expect from the Rebels this season.
- Overall Record: 7-5
- Points Scored: 359
- Points Allowed:374
Berrien County will suffer some big losses on defense, where they graduate four playmakers on the defensive line, including Henry Range, who had 105 tackles with 9 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. Teammates from the defensive front who also won’t be returning are Jeremiah Tillman, who had 85 tackles with 5.5 sacks last season, Darius Calhoun (102 career tackles, 3 sacks), and Carlos Reliford (84 tackles). Also lost are several members of the defensive backfield, including Jamon Robinson, Jacolby Allen, Dontravious White, Deville Adams, and Keith Jackson.
Hayden Futch leaves as one of the best punters in the state. In his three years at the Nashville school, Hayden averaged 38.4 yards per punt, including a long of 60 yards. Thirty-four of his 97 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. New head coach Ken Eldridge called Futch “a huge weapon.”
Returning to lead the Rebels in 2023 will be one of the top return men in Georgia high school football, Josiah Davis. The Rebels senior returned 7 of his 13 kickoffs for a TD last season, averaging a staggering 51 yards per kickoff. He also contributed on offense and defense, winding up with 12 rushing TDs, 2 receiving TDs, and an INT returned for a TD. He accounted for a total of 22 TDs.
On defense, the do-it-all Davis had 70 tackles in 2022, and he has 121 tackles over the last two seasons combined. He has already committed to the University of Florida, but Berrien is delighted to have him back for one more season before he heads off to Gainesville.
Joining Davis will be WR/DB Logan Rowe, who new Ken Eldridge described as “a really good route runner with sure hands.” Senior LB Carlos Velasquaz also returns to the Rebels, and he’ll look to duplicate his efforts of last season, when he had 36 tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery. He may also see time at RB this season.
What to Expect
Veteran high school coach Eldridge was hired this offseason, and he is excited about his new team at Berrien County.
“We have a lot returning on the offensive side of the ball, especially along our line,” Eldridge told ITG Next. Anytime you can return the majority of the O-line, you become more confident in what your abilities might be offensively.”
The defense is another story, and Eldridge laid out the reality of what he and his staff are facing with that unit in 2023.
“Defensively, we must replace the entire defensive line, secondary, and all but one of our linebackers,” he said. “A lot of young players will be expected to step up and fill those shoes. Those young guys must gain knowledge and experience early and fast.”
Ken Eldridge was a great hire for the Rebels, and they’ll need his experience to guide them after so many players were lost to graduation. Look for a 5-5 record from this 2023 Berrien County football team.
Game to Watch
A key region matchup with Worth County on September 22.
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Compliments of ITG Next