JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Northview head coach James Thomson said the 2019 Titans are the best group he has coached while at the school, and it is a squad that has continually improved in the offseason.
“I’m very pleased with where we are at, this is the best group I’ve had here and I love these guys,” he said. “We’ve had a great offseason and put a lot of work in. Right now it’s just about work, and we talk all the time about the process, and that is where we are at.”
While Northview returns some of its standouts from the 2018 campaign, many new players have stepped into larger roles in the offseason.
“Every year you have guys step up, and you don’t really know how it’s going to pan out until you get into the season and the game gets going,” Thomson said. “But I’m excited to find out and grow with these guys.”
Northview’s new offensive talent can find leadership in returning quarterback Beau Lark. The senior compiled over 1,800 yards passing last season with 19 touchdowns. He also showed prowess on his feet, rushing for 481 yards with six rushing scores.
“Beau is the best QB I’ve ever coached, and that’s saying a lot because of the quarterbacks I coached in Florida,” Thomson said. “He is very smart, and his leadership is great.”
Providing protection for Lark is an offensive line that returns all five starters from last season.
“I’m excited for them,” Thomson said. “They have been playing with each other for a very long time.”
Northview’s defense will be led by senior linebackers Sam Babadele, Derek Flannary and Mason Taylor.
Babadele racked up 42 total tackles and three sacks last season, and Taylor averaged four tackles per game.
Starters on both sides of the ball will still need to be identified, but that is part of every season, Thomson said.
“Part of coaching is putting players in the best position for them to have success, and that’s what we’ll be doing,” he said.
The Titans enter 2019 after Northview compiled its winningest season (5-5) since 2015 and narrowly missed out on the playoffs. However, Thomson said the team will not look ahead to attempt to better last year’s mark.
“We don’t have any expectations,” he said. “We can’t look past the next play. We’re not in a situation where we talk about winning region or state, we are just trying to win the next snap.”
And Thomson said they will do so as a close-knit group.
“We are a family, and that’s not just something we say, we believe in it,” he said. “They have been together long before I was here.”