No Iredell County team returns more explosive talent at the skill positions than Statesville. And now the Greyhounds have a seasoned varsity quarterback in Nebanye Moore distributing the ball to them.
Asked what that means for the offense in 2019, junior receiver Jasaiah Gathings offered a Cheshire cat-like grin.
“We’re going to be so crazy,” he said. “I feel bad for everybody else.”
Having a Caylon Imes and a Chavion Smith at running back and a Ky’Wuan Dukes and Gathings at receiver is a luxury Greyhounds coach Randall Gusler doesn’t take for granted.
All Statesville’s eggs aren’t resting in one basket.
“We’re not a one-man show,” Gusler said.
Last season as a sophomore Smith led Statesville in rushing yards (908), yards per carry (9.4), yards per game (69.8) and rushing touchdowns (17). Imes, then a junior, added 806 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and he averaged 7.6 yards a carry.
Their overall rushing totals don’t blow your socks off. What must be taken into consideration, though, is that they were part of a three-man rotation at running back that also included senior Dorreco Davis.
Imes and Smith, who already has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Southern Miss and Akron, were fine with sharing the wealth. They haven’t abandoned that mindset this season.
It comes down to “loyalty really,” Smith said.
“Whatever it takes to win,” Imes chimed in.
That prevailing sentiment is shared by the team’s top returning receivers.
“There ain’t no selfishness,” Dukes said.
As a junior last year, Dukes led the Greyhounds in receptions (48), receiving yards (714) and TD receptions (7). He averaged 14.9 yards per catch.
Gathings’ 28 receptions, 471 receiving yards and four TD catches were second only to Dukes. He averaged 16.8 yards per catch.
Dukes and Gathings, who also has a college offer from Akron, made some highlight-reel receptions too.
“If they double team me it opens things up for him and vice versa if they double team him,” Dukes said. “It’s good for the team.”
Collectively these four players can be a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators.
“The challenge presented with these guys is it’s difficult to cover them all, and any one of them can take it to the house,” Gusler said. “All of them are very athletic: speed, size, strength. Each of them does their job.”