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January 13, 2010

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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Havelock board approves replacement of Little League field lighting

January 12, 2010 4:31 PM

Drew C. Wilson
Freedom ENC

HAVELOCK — Commissioners decided Monday night to replace some, but not all, of the lighting on the baseball, softball and soccer fields at the city’s recreation complex.

The cost to fix the all the lights would have been $475,000, which would have included a 25-year guarantee.

Instead, the board favored replacement of lights on two Little League baseball fields that have inadequate lighting for night play. The cost is going to be $146,000, and commissioners will decide how to pay for it at their Jan. 25 meeting.

Commissioner George Liner was adamant that the cost for repairs not come from the city’s reserve fund but instead be paid out from next year’s budget.

“The Little League field lighting needs to be replaced,” said Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders, who is a Babe Ruth baseball official but not associated with Little League. “It’s a safety issue. God forbid some little kid gets hurt because he gets hit in the face with a ball.”

Liner disagreed.

“I don’t see it as a safety issue,” said Liner. “If they can’t see at night, schedule the games in the daytime.”

Commissioner Jim Stuart said that when the vote came in two weeks, if paying for the lights was going to mean affecting the city’s reserves, he intended to vote against it.

“It would be nice to have, but I want the people to know that there are other things, too,” he said. “We don’t want to run out of money. If taxes have to go up to start paying for it, then so be it.”

The board also decided to send a letter to Craven County commissioners asking for a subsidy and pointing out that 134 children who live outside Havelock city limits play ball on the city fields.

Sanders and the commissioners complained that they were not made aware of the lighting situation until June of last year, about a month after the city budget process had been completed.

In other business Monday night, the board:

♦  agreed to allow Fire Chief Rick Zaccardelli to reclassify a fire department position as “administrative captain.” The employee would be in charge of other department members and serve at the old fire station when the chief moves to the new West End Fire Station, and would be in charge in Zaccardelli’s absence.

♦  asked city planner Scott Chase to present a plan to commissioners with alternatives on how to better enforce the city’s building permit rules. The discussion was prompted by a stop-work order issued to the contractor of the AAR Building at 529 B U.S. 70 because the contractor allegedly misled the city and conducted work that wasn’t permitted.

“It went from a $5,000 job to a $150,000 job,” Chase said.

♦  awarded a $42,104 contract to Osprey Builders to construct a sidewalk along Manchester Road from Catawba Road to the back side of Arthur W. Edwards Elementary School.

♦  recognized police officer David King for 30 years of service at the Havelock Police Department by awarding him his badge and service sidearm.

♦  agreed to spend $42,000 to rehire Marlowe and Company to lobby for city interests in Washington.

November 17, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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By Adam Thompson
Freedom ENC

Danny Webster had a near-perfect passing day, leading Havelock to a 40-14 victory over Southern Guilford in the first round of the playoffs Monday.

The Rams junior quarterback completed 15 of 16 passes for 196 yards and two touchdown passes. Webster also ran for 89 yards on 11 carries.

“Danny is a great quarterback,” said Havelock senior running back William Griffith. “He can run, he can pass, he’s smart, and he can do it all. I’m proud to play with Danny.”

Due to rain and a flooded football field, Havelock’s originally scheduled game for Friday was pushed to Monday. The Rams will have just three days to prepare for their second-round opponent, East Rowan (9-3).

But playing on a short week is nothing new to Havelock (11-1), which beat White Oak on a Monday earlier this season before capping off a short week with a victory over D.H. Conley.

“It’s never good to have a short week of practice, especially against a team like East Rowan,” said Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant. “We are going to try and get the kids healthy. We won’t have a lot of contact this week.”

One of the banged up Rams was Webster, who strained his knee late in Monday’s game, and was taken out for precautionary reasons.

According to Bryant, Webster wanted to return, but with Havelock holding a 33-14 lead in the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Garrett Crowe finished the game.

Havelock running back Andretti George ran for 120 yards and a touchdown, while Griffith scored three touchdowns — one rushing, one receiving and one on a 35-yard interception return.

“It’s a team effort,” Griffith said. “I wouldn’t have been able to score if the line didn’t do their job, or if Danny didn’t do his job. I’m just happy we all did our part tonight.”

Webster got Havelock on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. A 9-yard run by George and a 16-yard touchdown catch by Jerell Wallace gave the Rams a 20-0 lead at halftime.

After recovering a fumble on its own 18-yard line with five minutes remaining in the first half, Southern Guilford squandered an opportunity to score. On a trick play, halfback Warren Scott was intercepted by Havelock’s Andy Keel.

Southern Guilford scored on the opening kickoff of the second half when Scott returned the ball 76 yards for a touchdown. Storm quarterback Jamie Cunningham connected with Darren Mitchell for the two-point conversion.

Havelock answered on its next possession when Griffith scored on a 4-yard run. After a failed two-point conversion, the Rams took a 26-8 advantage.

Scott’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter cut the Storm’s deficit to 12 points.

Griffith ended the third quarter with a 20-yard touchdown reception, while icing the game with an interception return with 5:28 left in the game.

“I didn’t think we played great, but we played good enough to win,” Bryant said. “A win is a win in the playoffs, whether it’s ugly or pretty.”

Havelock totaled 401 yards of offense, with 205 coming on the ground. The Rams fumbled seven times, and lost three.

Daniel Bailey hauled in 137 receiving yards, while Wallace had three catches for 50 yards.

Havelock’s defense allowed 135 yards, and forced three interceptions. Cody Toler had the Rams’ lone sack.

Scott led Southern Guilford’s offense with 62 rushing yards on 20 carries.

Havelock’s next opponent, East Rowan, defeated South Brunswick 14-11 in overtime.

“This feels good, but we just have to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for Friday night,” George said. “We have got to go hard. We can’t take anyone lightly.”

Havelock 40, Southern Guilford 14

Southern Guilford    0    0   14   0 — 14

Havelock               7   13   13   7 — 40

First quarter

H — Danny Webster 17 run (Tylor Cooper kick), 4:15

Second quarter

H — Andretti George 9 run (Cooper kick), 6:03

H — Jerell Wallace 16 pass from Webster (kick failed), 1:05

Third quarter

SG — Warren Scott 76 kickoff return (Jamie Cunningham pass to Darren Mitchell), 11:46

H — William Griffith 4 run (run failed), 5:05

SG — Scott 3 run (kick failed), 2:24

H — Griffith 20 pass from Webster (Cooper kick), :00

Fourth quarter

H —Griffith 35 interception return (Cooper kick), 5:28

Team stats              SG                 H

First downs              9              23

Total yards             135           401

Rush-yards            26- 53      36-205

Passing yards           82            196

Comp.-Att.-Int.     8-19-2       15-16-0

Punts-yards            3-66          3-66

Fumbles-lost           0-0            7-3

Penalties-yards       6-50           7-70

Individual stats

Passing: Southern Guilford — Jamie Cunningham 8-19-2 82, Warren Scott 0-1-1 0. Havelock — Danny Webster 15-16-0 196.

Rushing: Southern Guilford — Scott 20-62, Josh McDuffie 4-15, Cunningham 1- -8, Michael Mattocks 1- -16. Havelock — Andretti George 19-120, Webster 11-89, William Griffith 2-8, Frazier 3- -2, Garrett Crowe 1- -10.

Receiving: Southern Guilford —  Adonis Sherrod 3-24, O’Brien Chatman 2-20, Wesley Stephens 1-18, Scott 1-14, McDuffie 1-6. Havelock — Daniel Bailey 8-137, Jerell Wallace 3-50, Griffith 1-20, George 2- -5, Sonny Courtney 1- -6.

November 12, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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Rams ready to tackle playoffs

November 11, 2009 5:50 AM

By Ken Buday
Havelock News

Havelock High football coach Jim Bob Bryant calls it the third season. Only difference is the season ends after the first loss.

Havelock enters the 3A playoffs against Southern Guilford at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.

The Rams (10-1) drew the No. 3 seed for the playoffs. Southern Guilford went 5-6 during the regular season, losing 14-9 to Asheboro last week.

“They don’t run anything all that different from what we’ve seen,” Bryant said of the Storm.

That doesn’t mean Southern Guilford doesn’t have his respect.

“They’re in the playoffs for a reason,” Bryant said. “They had to win some games to get here. Everybody is capable of winning games and everybody can play.”

Southern Guilford surrendered 302 rushing yards in the loss to Asheboro last week. The Storm led 9-0 in the first quarter but failed to score the rest of the way, despite 150 yards rushing and 95 yards receiving from running back Warren Scott.

The Storm finished fourth in the Mid-Piedmont Conference, losing three of their last four.

Havelock lost 34-25 to Washington in the first round of the playoffs last year, but Bryant said this year’s squad is nothing like last year’s group.

“There’s a lot of difference between the way this team approaches a game,” he said. “They’re different players and they prepare differently.”

And, Bryant believes the Rams are going to have to be prepared against Southern Guilford.

“They’re coming out of a good conference,” he said. “We can’t just show up and expect to win.”

Bryant said his players should have no problem forgetting about last week’s 42-40 triumph over West Craven.

“We accomplished our goals in the second season, which was an undefeated record and a conference championship,” he said. “Now, we have to get ready for our third season.”

Tickets for the game are $7, and season passes won’t be honored, as per state rules. Advance tickets for $7 will be sold at Havelock High School during school hours on Thursday and Friday.

September 21, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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Havelock falls to Kinston, 36-28

September 19, 2009 1:50 AM
Ryan Herman
Freedom ENC

KINSTON — In a showdown of two top 10 teams, Havelock at Kinston lived up to its billing.

After jumping ahead early, the fifth-ranked 2A Vikings withstood a 28-point second half by the Rams to earn a 36-28 victory over 3A’s fifth-ranked team.

Dory Hines capped off the eventual game-winning drive on a 5-yard touchdown run with 25.5 seconds.

“That’s a big win,” Kinston head coach Battle Holley said. “I was tired before the game but I’m tired now.”

Hines led Kinston down the field in 94.5 seconds on 62 yards in nine plays after Havelock tied it up at 28.

After a quick and loud first half from Kinston, which led 12-0 at the break, Havelock turned up the heat in the second.

The Rams scored 20 third-quarter points to tie the contest up at 20 behind the arm and legs of do-it-all junior quarterback Danny Webster Jr. He threw for two TDs and ran for another in the period to lead the comeback.

A 23-yard pass from Webster (15-of-24 passing, 232 yards, two TDs; 124 yards rushing, two TDs) to Daniel Bailey (six catches, 127 yards) on the Rams’ opening drive of the second half began the rally.

Kinston answered on a 30-yard TD pass from Hines to Kewitt Koonce, but a misplayed kickoff gave the Rams back-to-back scoring possessions. They struck first on a 6-yard TD pass by Webster to Dillon Post and followed it up with a 12-yard run by Webster in which he somersaulted into the end zone.

“Webster’s a great player. And the whole team, they played hard until the end,” Havelock head coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “The clock ran out on us at the end.

“Whoever had the ball last looked like it was going to win the game.”

The Vikings broke the tie on a 2-yard run from Chris Brown, who led them in rushing with 113 yards on 20 carries, with 9:25 to play after a 13-play, 58-yard drive that took up 6 minutes, 8 seconds of game time.

The Rams answered with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended on a 2-yard TD run by Webster but their defense couldn’t contain Kinston one more time.

The Vikings improve to 5-0 with the win. Havelock falls to 3-1 and hosts White Oak Friday.

“We decided we didn’t want to start playing football until the second half,” Bryant said. “We came out flat and that’s my fault.

“Kinston’s got a great football team and they just outplayed us tonight. We didn’t play well enough to win.”

Kinston 36, Havelock 28

Havelock          0              0              20            8— 28

Kinston             0              12           8              16—36

Second Quarter

K—Dory Hines 1 run (kick failed), 10:02

K—Jaquan Leary 28 pass from Hines (run failed), 9:03

Third Quarter

H—Daniel Bailey 23 pass from Danny Webster Jr. (kick blocked), 10:14

K—Kewitt Koonce 23 pass from Hines (Chris Brown run), 8:15

H—Dillon Post 6 pass from Webster (Tylor Cooper kick), 6:29

H—Webster 12 run (Cooper kick), 2:59

Fourth Quarter

K—Brown 2 run (Brown run), 9:25

H—Webster 2 run (Omar Spencer pass from Webster), 2:06

K—Hines 5 run (Brown run), :25.5

Team stats                          H                                    K

First downs                      15                           17

Rushes-yards                 27-178                    46-229

Passing                        15-25-0                    8-15-0

Passing yards                   232                         139

Total yards                      410                         368

Fumbles-lost                    1-1                          2-1

Penalties-yards                6-60                        9-96

Individual statistics

RUSHING—H: Andretti George 8-41, Webster 16-124, William Griffith 3-13. K: Brown 20-113, C.J. Bradshaw 7-22, Koonce 3-8, Leary 4-28, Hines 10-44, Trey Jones 1-12, Jevonte Jones 1-2.

PASSING— H: Webster 15-24-0 232, Jerrell Wallace 0-1-0 0. K: Hines 8-15-0 139.

RECEIVING— H: George 2-9, Wallace 3-28, Bailey 6-127, Griffith 1-7, R.J. Bryant 1-33, Post 1-6, Spencer 1-22. K: Josh Lovick 1-16, Kyle Brown 2-22, Leary 1-28, Brown 2-18, Koonce 1-30, Bradshaw 1-25.


September 8, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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Jess Huffman

HAVELOCK — Havelock’s Jerell Wallace pulled a rabbit out of a hat Friday, and the Laney football team went into intermission mesmerized.

In the waning moments of the first half, Wallace received a reverse handoff from Andretti George and connected with quarterback Danny Webster Jr. for a 27-yard touchdown. The trick play capped off Havelock’s big second quarter in its 48-10 victory over the Buccaneers.

Wallace, a junior wide receiver, said he knew the play was good for a touchdown when he noticed Webster was wide open on the flats. Webster made one would-be tackler miss, bounced to the sideline, and dove into the end zone.

“When Danny gets the ball, he knows what to do with it,” Wallace said.

After a scoreless first quarter, Havelock busted open the game with 28 points in the second quarter to take a 25-point lead into halftime. Webster returned a punt 61 yards for a score, and then connected with Wallace and R.J. Bryant for touchdowns.

After the Rams’ defense forced a Laney three-and-out, Wallace delivered his first-career touchdown pass to Webster as time expired in the half.

 “He hit Danny right in stride tonight,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “And Danny just made a guy miss and got in the end zone.”

The Rams had 256 total yards by halftime and finished with 401 yards. Webster, who amassed 307 yards and five touchdowns, connected on 9 of 14 pass attempts for 172 yards and three scores. He found tight end Andrew McCamish open for a 16-yard score three minutes into the second half to give the Rams a 35-3 advantage after Tylor Cooper’s kick.

Running back Andretti George extended Havelock’s lead with a 7-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.

The Havelock defense limited Laney to just 55 yards in the first half and 125 yards in the game. Laney’s lone touchdown came in the final minutes with the majority of the Rams’ starters on the sidelines.

“Those guys come ready to play every Friday night,” Bryant said of his defense. “They just like getting after the football, and that makes it easier calling offensive plays.”

The Rams allowed their first touchdown of the season with 5:54 remaining in the game, when Buccaneers quarterback Mike Sheehan tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Clay.

“We wanted to keep them out of the end zone,” Bryant said. “But give credit to Laney. They played hard until the end.”

 The Rams (3-0) are off next Friday before playing at Kinston Sept. 18. Laney (0-3) returns to action at West Brunswick Friday.

“We should go all the way,” Wallace said. “This is the best football team I’ve ever played for. We’re well coached and have a lot of athletes.”

Jess Huffman can be reached at (252) 635-5669 or at jhuffman@freedomenc.com.

Havelock 42, Laney 10

Laney       0    3    0    7 — 10

Havelock   0   28   14   0 — 42

Second quarter

H — Danny Webster Jr. 61 punt return (Tyler Coopor kick), 11:43

H — Jerell Wallace 41 pass from Webster (kick failed), 9:54

L — Oliver Klockman 41 field goal, 2:45

H — R.J. Bryant 51 pass from Webster (Dillon Post pass from Webster), 0:55

H — Webster 27 pass from Wallace (Cooper kick), 0:00

Third quarter

H — Andrew McCamish 16 pass from Webster (Cooper kick), 9:19

H — Andretti George 6 run (Cooper kick), 1:31

Fourth quarter

L — Tevin Clay 18 pass from Mike Sheehan (Klockman kick), 5:54

Team stats           L                 H

First downs          8             10

Total yards         125           401

Rushes-yards     29-19       33-202

Comp-Att-Int    10-25-0    10-15-0

Punts-Avg         3-36.3       9-28

Fumbles-lost       2-0           2-1

Penalties-yards   7-60         8-78

Individual stats

Passing — Laney: Sheehan 10-25-0 106. Havelock: Webster 9-14-0 172, Wallace 1-1 27.

Rushing — Laney: Kywan Keyes 11-16, Clay 11-15, Sheehan 3-(minus-1), Jeremy Edens 4-(minus-11). Havelock: Webster 9-108, George 10-47, Griffith 5-24, Kemo Richardson 3-12, Tyrone Bradley 4-8, Quashon Manning 2-3.

Receiving — Laney: Clay 3-36, T.J. Lynch 3-20, Brandon Ellington 1-20, Ernest Andrews 2-19, Guy Cleary 1-11. Havelock: Wallace 3-52, Bryant 1-51, Webster 1-27, Post 1-25, Daniel Bailey 2-23, McCamish 1-16, Griffith 1-5.


August 24, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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Jess Huffman
Sun Journal

It was a nightmarish season-opener for the New Bern football team, and Havelock quarterback Danny Webster Jr. was the boogeyman.

Webster picked up 228 yards on offense and tossed three touchdown passes, leading the Rams to a 21-3 victory over the Bears on Friday at Caruso-Coates Stadium. But numbers can’t describe the biggest play he made.

With New Bern pinned against its own end zone in the first quarter of a scoreless game, working from its own 4-yard line, quarterback Jerrell Armstrong busted up the middle and broke free. No one was catching him.

But just when it appeared Armstrong was going to run for a 94-yard touchdown, a New Bern blocker touched Webster in the back, and both players stumbled to the ground. A flag followed, and New Bern’s first fireworks of the season were extinguished.

 “Danny Webster set that clip up good,” Havelock second-year coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “He moved in front of him and let him push him in the back. He’s one of the smartest football players I’ve ever coached.”

A New Bern player never touched the end zone again. The Rams limited the Bears to just 171 yards of offense, including a dismal 56 yards in the second half.

Senior Mike Jones accounted for all of New Bern’s scoring, kicking a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter.

“We’ve got to get better as a team:  offense, defense and special teams,” New Bern coach Bobby Curlings said. “I hope it was just first-game jitters. I think we’re a lot better than we showed.”

New Bern lost two fumbles in the first half, both of which led to Havelock touchdown drives. Addrick Rasberry’s recovery led to Webster connecting with tight end Dillon Post for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:11 remaining in the first quarter. And Mike O’Brien’s recovery set up Havelock’s 12-play, 71-yard scoring drive, capped off by another Webster-to-Post touchdown as time expired in the first half.

“That last-second touchdown to put us up by 21 points against New Bern at their house — it was a big, humungous motivator,” Webster said. “It was good for us.”

Webster finished the game 12-of-24 passing for 109 yards and rushed for 112 yards on 14 carries.

Armstrong led New Bern with 118 passing yards and 46 yards on the ground. He showed flashes of promise throughout, but particularly in the first half, when he threw for 69 yards and ran for another 52. He connected with senior wide receiver Mike Brown three times for 57 yards.

“He’s gotten better and better every day,” Curlings said. “I think you’re just seeing the tip of the things that he can do, because he’s an outstanding athlete and a very intellectual young man, so he catches on quick.”

The two teams combined for nine fumbles — five of which were lost — and seven turnovers. New Bern’s defense had an interception, three fumble recoveries and a blocked kick. Yet, the Bears allowed the Rams to gain 317 total yards, including 201 rushing yards.

Senior defensive back J.R. Williams intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble for the Bears.

 “It was a lot like last year’s game,” Curlings said. “The offense put the defense in bad spots.”

Havelock defeated New Bern, 12-8, last season at Wilbur Sasser Field in Havelock. Friday night marked the first time the Rams had beaten the Bears in consecutive seasons since the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

New Bern still leads the series 20-19-1.

“I was excited for the kids, especially for the seniors,” Bryant said. “Having the chance to go out and beat New Bern two years in a row, I’m really excited for them.”

The Havelock defense forced three New Bern turnovers. Cody Toler had two sacks in the second half, and William Griffith intercepted a pass.

The Rams committed 13 penalties and fumbled five times. 

New Bern (0-1) returns to action Friday at West Craven (1-0), while Havelock (1-0) hosts East Carteret (1-0).

“To me, this was probably the most important game of the year,” Webster said. “It was the first game. Everybody’s got first-game jitters. Everybody’s going to make first-game mistakes. We played nowhere near the best football that, hopefully, you’ll see this year.”

Havelock 21, New Bern 3

Havelock          7              14            0              0 — 21

New Bern         0              0              3              0 — 3

First quarter

H — Dillon Post 4 pass from Danny Webster Jr. (Tylor Cooper kick), 4:11

Second quarter

H — R.J. Bryant 8 pass from Webster (Cooper kick), 5:40

H — Post 4 pass from Webster (Cooper kick), 0.0

Third quarter

NB — Mike Jones 27 field goal, 6:26

Team stats                       H                             NB

First downs                   15                       12

Total yards                   317                     171

Rushes-yards              33-201                  22-45

Comp-Att-Int.            12-24-1                 11-32-1

Punts-Avg.                   2-48                    3-38

Fumbles-lost                  4-3                     5-2

Penalties-yards             13-90                   5-40

Individual stats

Passing — Havelock: Webster 12-24-1 116. New Bern: Jerrell Armstrong 10-26-1 118, Matt Solter 1-6-0 8.

Rushing — Havelock: Webster 14-112, William Griffith 7-61, Andretti George 8-20, Robbie Hollister 1-3, Tyrone Bradley 2-9, Kemo Richardson 1-(-2). New Bern: Armstrong 13-46, Josh Moore 6-7, Solter 3-(-8).

Receiving — Havelock: Daniel Bailey 6-76, George 2-19, Jerell Wallace 1-15, Post 2-8, Bryant 1-8. New Bern: Mike Brown 3-57, Rashad Benjamin 2-40, Moore 2-13, Javarus McConner 2-10, TaQuan Hall 1-8, Jeric Nelson 1-(-1).

Havelock Football August 11, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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By Jess Huffman

Freedom ENC

The clock struck midnight, but the lights above Havelock High School continued to shine bright Saturday. A group of football players surrounded head coach Jim Bob Bryant.

“The football gods smiled on us today,” Bryant said. “They let us practice.”

Rain soaked the majority of Craven County, but Mother Nature refused to dampen Havelock’s night. The Rams opened their season with a three-hour practice, beginning late Friday and ending at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The ceremonial minute allowed the Rams to get their first official practice in the books.

“That counts as an August 1 practice,” Bryant said.

Players were rambunctious, rowdy, slapping helmets and hollering. Quarterback Danny Webster Jr. said there was no better place to be than the football field.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s play football.”

Webster is coming off a breakout sophomore season in which he gained more than 1,600 total yards and scored 20 touchdowns. He’s a year more experienced and a year stronger, ready to showcase a more versatile game in Bryant’s spread offense.

“He’s really improved his passing game,” Bryant said. “Last year, he was more of a (runner) and a good athlete. This year, I think he’s improved his arm strength. He can throw it probably 20 yards farther than what he did last year.”

In Bryant’s first year as head coach, the Rams finished 8-4 overall and 5-2 in the Coastal Conference. They began 8-1 before losing their final three games, including a first-round playoff loss to Washington.

Webster said this year’s team will not let up as the season progresses.

“We’re going to bring a lot more heart — a lot more love to the game,” he said. “Last year, we kind of quit. We kind of gave up a little bit at the end there. I don’t think you’ll see that this year.”

Havelock returns nine starters on both offense and defense, including recent South Carolina recruit Corey Robinson, a 6-foot-7 offensive tackle, and running back/linebacker William Griffith, who rushed for 200 yards and four touchdowns last season. Both are expected to take on leadership roles.

The Rams also return their leading tackler, linebacker Tre Jones, and their top-two receivers from last year, Octavious Coates and R.J. Bryant.

“We’re cautiously optimistic about this season,” Coach Bryant said.

The new-look Coastal Conference will include eight 3A teams. New Bern and J.H. Rose are out, and White Oak and Jacksonville are in.

“Having an all 3A conference kind of evens the playing field a little bit more,” Bryant said. “We’ve got two great teams coming in the conference, so it will still be a really strong conference.”

The Rams spent the summer competing in a 7-on-7 passing league, which also included East Carteret, White Oak, Croatan, Washington, Pamlico, Jones Senior at South Lenoir. They scrimmage at East Duplin on Aug. 12 before hosting Pamlico, Croatan and Swansboro for a scrimmage on Aug. 15.

Havelock opens the season Aug. 21 at New Bern.