ND Preseason

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Green Wave returns 16 starters from district championship team

By Brad Greer

For two straight seasons, the North Delta Green Wave has been on the doorsteps of playing for a state championship, only to lose painstakingly in the state semi- and quarterfinals at home both years.

The 2012 season could be different however as the Green Wave returns 16 starters from last year’s 10-2 squad that finished undefeated in District 1-AA for the second straight season. League coaches have tabbed North Delta to not only repeat as district champions but will be one of the top teams in Academy AA North State.

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First-year head coach Brandon Ciaramitaro said the challenge is something to which his team is looking forward.

“We have been a pretty good team the past few years. We played for North State two years ago and made it to the second round last season. One thing we stress to the guys is to strive to improve more and more every year. I feel we have a chance to have a pretty solid club but nothing will be given to us. We have got to earn it on the field. The kids understand they will have a bull’s eye on their back every Friday night, but it’s a challenge they are looking forward to,” said Ciaramitaro.

Look for North Delta to light up the scoreboard as nine starters return on the offensive side of the ball. The entire starting backfield returns including starting quarterback Tyler Pirtle who electrified the Green Wave fans by passing and rushing for over 1,000 yards last year.

Throw in fellow senior tailback Taylor Morris who is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and Tunica transfer Austin Hagstrom and odds are good the Green Wave will have a potent offensive attack. Junior Skyler Lawson will serve as Pirtle’s backup while freshman Hunter Baker will see action at fullback.

Seniors Brett Harrington and William Dean will lead the receiving corps for North Delta. Senior tightend Will Magee will be another favorite target of Pirtle’s.

 The Green Wave will return all but one starter on the offensive line this season. Junior Harley Ashby will be at the center position while Carter Gant and Bradley Booth lock down the guard slots. Juniors Hunter Pitcher and Parker Jones, a converted fullback, will be at tackle position.

 The North Delta defense should be solid as well in their ‘split-4’ alignment  as seven starters return. Pitcher and Booth are penciled in at the end position while Jones and Sam Copeland will be at the tackle and nose guard slots.

The linebacker corps will consist of Gant, Magee, Morris and Baker. Dean and junior Tyler Beard along with safety Brett Harrington round out the defensive backfield.

Pirtle will handle punting chores while Dean will handle kickoff and extra point chores.
Ciaramitaro said the district race should be highly contested with Marshall and Carroll fielding strong teams. Harrison Nickle and Jeff Walls will serve as assistant coaches under Ciaramitaro.

North Delta will open the season Friday night at home against Clarksdale Lee at 7 p.m. All regular season games will began at 7 p.m.