As the summer clocks tick down toward the start of fall sports, there’s an air of optimism swirling around Flinn Field after summer football practice wrapped up.

As the summer clocks tick down toward the start of fall sports,  there’s an air of optimism swirling around Flinn Field after summer football practice wrapped up.

The return of quarterback Stephen Dawson for his senior season after a one-year hiatus is generating excitement for Red Devil Nation, and offensive diversification appears to be in the crystal ball.

“We are extremely happy to have him back!” said  assistant Red Devil head coach Jason Jackson “We saw some great progress from him after working with Mike Keller in the Lenoir Rhyne camp. We went to Marietta and he threw 41 TDs in 6 games.  

  “Jake Greene has a great attitude. His senior year will be a great one. He made some great catches. 

  “Austin Garrett is going to surprise some teams with his speed. He got behind several teams at Marietta. 

  “Max Hilton is a natural inside receiver (and will now finally get to showcase those talents after two seasons of hard-nosed quarterback duty). He has put on about 15 pounds but his speed has improved. 

  “Newcomer Luke Miller is turning into a fine receiver also.   

  Two-way standout Luke Jackson spent some weeks in June at several linebacker camps and turned in a great performance at Ohio State. His  shoulder is healed up and he’s ready for a big junior season. 

  Returing All-Stater Ethan Mahan is up to 242 pounds, and when he went to Ohio State he turned some of the Division II coaches’ heads. He was highlighted in several drills and gained a lot of interest. 

  “We are blessed to have Evan Dunlap back in the fold also,” said Jackson. “He is going to help us on both sides of the ball.”

 Former Ripley Viking head coach Dave Tennant has joiend the Red Devil staff as offensive line coach, replacing veteran Will Burgess who had to depart due to enhanced job duties with new company ownership.

  Burgess had been on the Red Devil staff since 1998, and was great asset to the program. He took over as head line coach in 2003, and had produced steadily improving trench players ever since. He was a dedicated teacher who will be missed.

  “Dave (Tennant)  is excited to help us,” said Jackson. “He has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. His knowledge of the game is great. He will be helping coach offensive line and defensive line.”

  Ravenswood finished 4-6 in 2016, their first season in Class A competition, with signature wins over playoff team Tyler Consolidated and contender Doddridge County. The Red Devils will be looking for more as the 2017 fall practice season rapidly approaches.