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story.lead_photo.caption (Photo courtesy of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

NASHVILLE, Ark. — Scrapper football is centered around four core standards.

Be a team, 100%, be the most excited, and finish are the four standards for Nashville and head coach Mike Volarvich.

"These standards can be used, not only in a game, but in practice, school, and life," Volarvich said. "Obviously, I want them to be good team members with those they work with and always give 100% with any activity.

"I want them to be the most excited when playing the game. Football is a game of momentum, and I want them to be the most excited to be there. Finish means for them to finish the game, finish the drill, or finish whatever job they are doing. It doesn't matter how you start; it matters how you finish."

Scrapper team goals are always set high. Nashville made it into the quarterfinals last season and wants to earn a berth in the state championship.

"We want our name thrown around as one of the teams that has the chance to play for the state title," Volarvich said. "Only one team in the state can win it. We have to have a lot of things to go our way to win it.

"We want to stay healthy and have the ball bounce our way. We want our name mentioned at the end of the year that is a state championship contender."

 

(Photo courtesy of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

OFFENSE

Nashville runs a multiple offense, meaning they will give defenses multiple looks.

"We want to stay balanced on offense," Volarvich said. "What that means to me is that we have six skill players and would like all six guys to touch the ball. We want to distribute the ball to quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers. We will have different run schemes and different play action schemes while incorporating the screen and passing games."

Ty Gordon and Keyshawn Stewart will split time at quarterback. Gordon started at inside linebacker last seasons, while Stewart started at running back.

"Ty and Keyshawn will play multiple roles for us this year," Volarvich said. "Both of them will take snaps at quarterback, running back, and play on defense. They are two guys that are very talented. Each of them gives us something a little different at quarterback.

"Both are great leaders and great teammates. They understand their role, and they are supportive of each other. They are fun and enjoyable to coach."

Seniors Jacobe Jefferson and Carmillias Morrisson will be the main running backs for the Scrappers.

"Jacobe is one of the strongest and fastest kids on the team," Volarvich said. "He is a big, physical runner. He had a great offseason and a great summer. He has really come around.

"Carmillias is more of a scatback. He has great quickness. We have a one-two punch with those two guys."

Senior Ty Basiliere is back as a starting receiver and made the all-state team last year. Basiliere led Nashville in receiving last season.

"Ty (Basiliere) possesses a skill set that not many other high school athletes have," Volarvich said. "He high jumped 6-7 last year and ran an 11.4 in the 100-yard dash. There aren't a lot of high school athletes can do both of those. He has a rare talent."

Devay Ragland, a junior, returns to his starting position at receiver. Lance Easter and Davont'e Witherspoon have moved over to the offense and will play at receiver.

Senior center Ryan Brown helps anchor the offensive line. Brown is a 3-year starter for the Scrappers. Juniors Dalton Brown and Hayden Clay will start at tackle.

Nashville has three guards that will get rotate in Jonny Hagler, Austin Combs, and Kendrix Holcomb. Junior Mac Green was an offensive lineman in junior high but now makes the move to fullback.

"Mac isn't a smash mouth type of fullback," Volarvich said. "He was kind of undersized at lineman in junior high, but he always played super hard and was scrappy. We moved him to linebacker last year, and he was a backup. He naturally fits into the position. Mac is smart, and he will fight in the trenches."

Jhonny Pioquinto is solid at kicker and is back from last year.

"Jhonny has scored a lot of points for us," Volarvich said. "He has been our extra point and field goal guy for us in the past two years. He works hard and also plays on the varsity soccer team."

Gallery: Texarkana Gazette's 2019 Football Edition

DEFENSE

Nashville runs a multiple look defense that is based out of the 3-4.

Witherspoon returns at linebacker and was the Scrappers' leading tackler last season. Joining him are returning starting linebackers Easter and Gordon. Devarius Snell is the fourth starting linebacker.

The Scrappers feature senior Walter Phillips, who is a returning starter, Mike Hendrix, Ta'Kris Verge, and Slade Furr.

"Some of our offensive linemen will cross over and play some on the defensive line," Volarvich said. "Walter, Mike, Ta'Kris, and Slade are fulltime defensive linemen who had a good fall camp."

L.D. Hendrix returns as a starting cornerback. Two others, Detrich Young, who started last year, and Quincey Garland will rotate at the other corner.

"We have a bunch of different fronts," Volarvich said. "We are going to move the defensive line and linebackers around. We like to apply pressure."

 

ATTITUDES AND SPEED

"I think the greatest strength of our team is in the group of kids that we have," Volarvich said. "They have great attitudes and put expectations on each other. There is a lot of internal peer pressure within our team to push one another; in a good way.

"Every year in the locker room, a coach will get some guys that aren't bought in. They play the victim role and thinks that the coach always has it out for them. This year, I don't have one guy that is like that. We have a group of guys that know what it takes to win, and we feel really good about our locker room."

Coach Volarvich is also well pleased with the team's speed.

"This is the fastest team that we have had since I have been here," he said. "We don't have the one fastest guy in the state, but the number of guys that we have with speed is great. We timed 30 of our 55 players below 4.9 second in the 40-yard dash. The kids' attitudes matched with our speed are things that we are excited about."

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SCHEDULE

Date, Site-Opponent

Aug. 27, Watson Chapel

Sept. 6, Hope

Sept. 13, at De Queen

Sept. 27, x-at Arkadelphia

Oct. 4, x-Fountain Lake

Oct. 11, x-at Joe T. Robinson

Oct. 18, x-Ashdown

Oct. 25, x-Haskell Harmony Grove

Nov. 1, x-at Malvern

Nov. 8, x-Bauxite

x-Denotes Conference 7-4A game

All kickoffs at 7 p.m.
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QUICK FACTS

— SCHOOL: Nashville

— 2018 RECORD: 10-3

— HEAD COACH: Mike Volarvich

— YEARS AT SCHOOL: 5th

— COACHING STAFF: Jimi Easterling, off. coordinator; Richard Strickland, def. coordinator; Glennon Bobo, off. line; Brian Bearden, secondary; Kirk Benson, linebackers.

— LETTERMEN LOST/BACK: 20/21

— STARTERS BACK: 7 offense, 6 defense

— PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB/RB Keyshawn Stewart, QB/RB/LB Ty Gordon, WR/DB Ty Basiliere, LB/WR Davont'e Witherspoon, LB/WR Lance Easter, RB Jacobe Jefferson, RB Carmillias Morrisson, OL/DLDalton Brown, WR/DB Devay Ragland.

— TOP NEWCOMERS: WR/DB Isiah Jones.

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