O-Zone Kickoff Week: Hillcrest's post DGB era begins

Coach: John Beckham, 5th season at Hillcrest

2011 Recap:  11-2, lost to eventual Class 4 state champion Webb City in quarterfinals

Returning Starters:  3 on offense, 4 on defense

Key Returning Players:  Jonah Hill (TE), C.J. Hubbard (DL), Juwan Johnson (WR), Sheldon Moellar (RB)

So there was once this young man named Dorial Green-Beckham.  DGB has the Hillcrest Hornet fans would call him was a gifted athlete.  In his four-years at Hillcrest, he broke the national record for career receiving yards.  Now, he's at Mizzou catching passes for the Tigers and the Hornets need to regroup.

Green-Beckham isn't the only player to leave Hillcrest.  The Hornets lost 20-seniors from the 2011 squad that made it into the state quarterfinals only to lose to the eventual champ, and traditional powerhouse Webb City.

Coach John Beckham says his athletes are eager to get on the grid-iron.  With 20-seniors in camp in 2012, the well isn't exactly dry at Hillcrest.

"We want to make sure we're competitors," Coach Beckham said about preparing for the season.  "We're going to come to work and compete.  We might be out-manned and out-gunned, but we need to come to play."

Senior tight end Jonah Hill, who's verbally committed to Arkansas State, is a key to the Hornets offense.  Hill can help protect a line to give Sheldon Moellar room to run, or give the quarterback time to hit Juwan Johnson at receiver.  And as we saw in 2011, Hill was the perfect complement to Dorial taking passes for scores.

"We will win if we protect the ball on offense," Coach Beckham said, "and tackle on defense."