Tuesday, May 06, 2008

2008 Team to Watch: Carmel

PrepNation.com continues to look ahead to the 2008 high school football season. We're still a couple months away from the start of our expanded preseason national rankings release, but it's not too soon to whet your appetite with mini-previews of teams that are likely to figure very prominently on the national scene this season.

Since the state of Indiana added a Class 5A bracket to its postseason tournament in 1985, an elite group of four high schools have dominated the competition. Ben Davis (seven), Warren Central (five), Penn (four) and Carmel (three) have combined to win 19 of the 23 titles.

With six starters returning on each side of the ball, including four players with early Division I offers, the Greyhounds will be the early season favorite to successfully defend last season's championship.

Veteran coach Mo Moriarty says more than 20 Division I colleges have offered quarterback Morgan Newton. The 6-4, 215-pounder had more than 2,500 combined passing and rushing yards with 36 total touchdowns last season.

Free safety Joe Rippe (6-2, 190) is the top returning player from a defense that yielded only 40 points in Carmel's final six games of last season.

The Greyhounds face a tough schedule that includes road trips to fellow 5A preseason favorites Center Grove and Warren Central.

Carmel Greyhounds (Carmel, Ind.)
Coach: Mo Moriarty (32-10, 3 years at Carmel; 215-52, 24 years overall)

2007: 13-2, Class 5A state champion, No. 19 in PrepNation's final Midwest Top 25

Top returning players: QB Morgan Newton (6-4, 215, 2,500+ total offense, 36 TDs), FB Kurt Freytag (6-2, 220, 900 yards rushing, 11 TDs), OT Brooks Michel (6-7, 285, multiple BCS college offers)

Key losses: WR Jordan Brewer (Purdue), OT Matt Steele (Joliet JC), LB Conner O'Banion (all-state, leading tackler)

All systems go: QB position

Questions must be answered: Replacing three starting linebackers

Toughest games: vs. Cathedral (Aug. 22), @Center Grove (Sept. 5), @Warren Central (Oct. 5), vs. Ben Davis (Oct. 17).

YouTube Video:
2nd Half 2007 State Championship Game

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