What to watch: Special teams features a mix of experience and newcomers

Published 8:40 pm Friday, August 12, 2016

After a recent season-ending injury for Bainbridge kicker Blake Green, sophomore Caleb Harris will be stepping up for his first year as kicker.

Harris will handle both kick offs and field goals for the Bearcats. He played soccer his freshman year and brings a strong foot with him, coach Tommy Wheeler said.

“He’s a good little athlete, and I think he is at or ahead of where Blake was this time last year,” Wheeler said. “He is going to get a lot of work now, so we are going to put him in the microwave and get him done a little early.”

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Senior punter Clark Wiggins returns after a big 2015 season where he averaged 31.3 yards per punt, his longest being a 50-yarder.

Wiggins was named All-Region punter in 2014 and 2015 and is a major asset to the Bearcats’ special teams unit.

Wheeler said Wiggins’ hang time and ability to stick the ball inside the 20-yard line are what make him so good.

“Hardly does anybody get to return one,” Wheeler said about Wiggins’ punts.

Stepping in as kick returners for Bainbridge are Dalvin Spivie and Lerone Broadnax.

In 2015, Spivie returned seven kick offs for 202 yards and a long run of 51 yards. Broadnax also returned kick offs last season, returning two for 37 yards.

Broadnax will also be returning punts. He replaces Tyler Storey, who returned 17 punts for 175 yards in 2015.

“He is really sure handed,” Wheeler said about Broadnax. “You don’t want that punt to land and roll, and he is going to get to it and make the catch. We are really confident with him.”

The Bearcats travel to Godby (Florida) next Thursday, Aug. 18, for a scrimmage at 7 p.m. They return to Centennial Field for the season opener against Lee County at 7 p.m.