Sports Opinion: What is next for the Spartans? QB Edition

With a crushing end to the season, what is the future for Seabury football?

The Spartans season came to a close Sept. 21 at the hands of Lanai. With its first win ever versus the Spartans on the gridiron, Lanai faces Molokai in the championship game on Molokai.

The future is very unclear for the Spartans as they will lose five seniors which include starting defensive end, Chase Granum, running back Tai Ornelius and starting QB Jack Almeida. With roughly 40 percent of their offense gone, the coaches have to make many tough decisions, primarily at the QB position. With the starter unclear, Seabury does have a plethora of options.

The quarterback position is the most valuable and important position in sports. With Almeida graduating, the Spartans do have options, but his arm strength will be hard to replace.

The case for Jack Hedden: With a beautiful TD pass vs. Hana, Hedden is the frontrunner. With experience at the position and the proper leadership, he shows this assumption/suggestion makes sense right off the bat.

The case against Jack Hedden: When we see Hedden throw the ball, two weaknesses jump off the page: his lack of arm strength and his height.

With the lack of arm strength, he has to go for a quick option, and the coaches would have to tailor the offense around him. We have seen something similar with Jaxon Stinger where his arm was not fantastic, but his poise and calmness were fully on display in and out of the pocket. The same is with Jack. He may not have a great arm, but he naturally has poise, which cannot be taught. There have been numerous kids his age who have had great arms but lack the necessity of poise.

With the lack of height, Hedden cannot see over every offensive lineman. This transition will be the hardest part of the transition over to QB for him if the coaches try the move. The silver lining for his height is that there is a great chance where he adds a few inches before summer camp starts up. A QB for DII does not need to be over six-foot, but it adds another dimension, and it is easier to control the passing game, which the Spartans have favored over the past six years.

Gut reaction: The odds for Jack Almeida handing the keys to Jack Hedden are high. Hedden displays the poise and can be developed as a west coast QB (short, functional passes). He will run into problems due to his height and arm strength, but he does have until August to improve both.

The case for Wildcat consisting of Blayde and JJ: The offense ran swiftly against Hana and ever for some parts of the Lanai game. Yielding a good number of touchdowns and contributing to a sizeable amount of first downs this offense without a doubt has a chance to replace Jack Almeida.

The case against Wildcat QB: The non-threat of a passing game instantly will jump off the field if the coaches decide to utilize this. Typically in college and the NFL, if a team has a weak QB or if they like to run it down the defense throats the opponents coaches will utilize an 8-men box.

Pretend there is an imaginary box in the middle of the field where the offense is, and there will be 8-men in it. This tactic will eliminate most of the running game and make the offense dependent on the passing game. The Spartans play in an 8-man league, so in this instance, the defense will place 5-men in the box and have two cornerbacks.

If the coaches decide to use the wildcat formation a competent coach would stack the box and force the Spartans to pass the ball; however, in 8-men football in Hawaii besides the Spartans, the coaching tends to be lackluster or in some cases DREADFUL.

Gut reaction: The coaches without a doubt will use the wildcat marginally at the worst in the upcoming season. It all depends on who the Spartans are playing against, honestly.

Surprise kid we do not know about: The same happened with Jaxon Stinger and Jack Almeida. Both of this talented QB came out of the outfield in the field of dreams and started immensely.

The case against: I have not watched a fixed amount of eighth-grade games, and I just don’t see another version of Jack Almeida or a Jaxon Stinger in the wing. Until Seabury offers football scholarships, I do not see a top talent football player coming to our school when they can go to a Baldwin, Maui High or even a Lahainaluna and play top talent.

Tall Kid with a good arm who writes about the team: I am kidding my days of throwing the ball and getting picked off are over. Thank god, right?

What is next for the Spartans? I wish I could answer this question, but I do not know. With a substantial chunk of the team graduating, no one knows what will transpire by Summer Camp. The offseason has arrived, and Coach Mark Brownstead has a new QB to mold and develop. The good news: he has time.

What I would do: We have a considerable amount of time until our next meaningful game. If I had to make a decision, I would groom Jack Hedden to be the starter. As I mentioned, he does lack the arm and high, but he does have a lot of poise and feel for the position compared to anyone else. Jack Almeida will be missed on the football field, and I want to personally thank him for the good two years he was at Seabury. He was a great leader and teammate, and I have nothing but praise for the kid. Thanks, Jack.