SETH — Sherman High’s senior signal-caller Davy Jarrell hopes to build on the long history of stellar quarterback play at Sherman High School.
“How could you not be inspired by that,” said Jarrell. “I mean, we’ve had some crazy good quarterbacks here just in the last ten or twenty years alone.”
Names like Colby Treadway, Baylee Kirk and more recently J.T. Hensley — who led the Tide to three straight playoff appearances in 2016, 2017 and 2018 haunt the fieldhouse where Jarrell and his teammates prepare for what is ahead in 2020.
With practices pushed back to Aug. 17 due to COVID-19, Sherman will take the gridiron on Sept. 4 at Zontini Field as they host Tug Valley.
Jarrell was a running back until game three last year when he and talented running back CJ Winnell switched roles.
“It wasn’t that we didn’t have confidence in CJ,” Jarrell said. “CJ is such a dynamic runner and he’s so tough that it just made sense and I’ve played the position (quarterback) before. We both just really wanted to help the team and whatever that meant, we’d do it.”
Sherman won just a single game in 2019 and Coach Michael Showalter feels that Jarrell is one of the spokes in the wheel to turn it around in 2020 and put the Tide back into the winner’s circle.
“He’s such a coachable kid and he’s smart,” said Showalter. “He understands the game and he understands situational football. He’s one of our gym rats and he’s stronger than last year. He’s an outspoken leader but he also leads by how he goes about his business. I look for a break-out year from our quarterback position.”
For decades, the Tide has ran the vaulted veer attack but Showalter and new offensive coordinator Rick Runion (former South Charleston and Sissonville High assistant) have thrown in some wrinkles to the offense that highlight the talents of their signal-caller.
“We’ll throw the ball a little more than we have in recent years so there is some excitement brewing,” Showalter added.
Jarrell said that last season served as a wakeup call for the Tide.
“You can see it in everyone’s eyes,” he said. “We are confident and we want to get out there and prove it. Going 1-9 last year is something that’s not acceptable. We’re ready to go and put that behind us.”
Jarrell said that following up a playoff run for the school wasn’t pressure within itself. He applies his own pressure.
“The pressure I feel is what I put on myself to be a leader and perform,” he said. “We want to get back to the playoffs and last year we had lost two amazing players in Tommy (Harper) and JT (Hensley) and we have a tough schedule because of their success so our expectations here are always to win.”
At 5-foot-7 165 pounds, Jarrell may look physically like a typical Class A quarterback in West Virginia but Jarrell said that he has made strides that reach beyond his size.
In eight games behind center, Jarrell amassed 689 total yards while notching 49 tackles and three interceptions from his corner position while Winnell and fellow back TJ Hager carried the rock on offense.
“I feel like I’m a better communicator and I know where everyone should be,” he said. “Our offensive line is where it all starts. I have confidence in our big guys. As an offense, we had times last year where we didn’t communicate the way we should have. We are going to be better at that now.”
Sherman returns four out of five starters up front, including All-State two-way senior star Hunter Bowling and speedy wideout Colby Buzzard — pound-for-pound the strongest and fastest player on the squad according to Coach Showalter.
Jarrell said the maroon and gold are far from a one-man show.
“We have guys with good ball skills who can make big plays and we are experienced,” he said. “I have to make good decisions with the ball. We’re ready to roll.”
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or at 304-307-2401.