Fresh faces lead Battle as program begins anew under Ellison

3 months 1 week 1 day ago Thursday, August 29 2019 Aug 29, 2019 Thursday, August 29, 2019 10:43:39 PM CDT August 29, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
By: Adam Cole, Columbia Missourian

COLUMBIA — Battle High School football will look a little different when it hits the field for the first time in 2019.

The Spartans had some significant personnel shakeups this off-season with former defensive line coach Atiyyah Ellison being promoted to head coach and Harrison Keller starting at quarterback.

Both moves come after Justin Conyers — the only head coach in program history — left in April for the same job in Halsville and Jaren Lewis, the program’s starting quarterback for the last two years, graduated in May.

There will also be some new faces on defense. Junior Jamileon Kimble will now start at defensive tackle for Battle and the program is also adding R.J. Miller, a 6-foot-2 senior who moved from Bearben, Arkansas, this year. He’ll start at defensive end.

Kimble and Miller both said this year’s Battle defense is physical and flies to the ball, and Kimble added that the defense feels more organized than last year, noting that its members have “bought in” with coaches like Xzavie Jackson. The former Missouri defensive lineman is in his first year on the Battle coaching staff.

For all the newness, there will be some familiarity on offense. Steadfast linemen like Landon Ray and Sam Ennis will bookend the offensive line and the duo of Daleshaun Coleman and Darren Jordan will split carries at running back again this year. Last season, the duo totaled over 2,000 yards on the ground. They’ll likely be helped by junior Khaleel Dampier, who’s expected to split snaps with Keller at quarterback and is more of a run-oriented player. Ellison described Dampier as shifty and someone who can make people miss with his feet at last week’s jamboree.

There’s not much familiarity between Battle and its opponent, Saint Louis University High School. SLUH and Battle have only squared off once before, in 2018, where the Spartans walked away with a 53-25 road win.

The Junior Billikens are coming off a 1-9 season in which they lost nine games by a touchdown or more and were shut out in three consecutive games to cap off the season. Despite that, Ellison said he’s seen things on film that’ll need to be accounted for, including an undersized defense that flies to the ball.

“That’s intimidating when you’re watching it from an offensive perspective.” he said. “We’re gonna have to make sure we’re blocking downfield. ... That’s how you account for success.”

Miller also pointed to one key figure on the SLUH offense: running back Kellen Porter.

“Stop 21,” Miller said, noting what Battle’s defense has keyed in on all week. Porter finished last season with 948 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns for the Junior Billikens.

Between Porter, Coleman and Jordan, Kimble said the matchup will be one that’s won with the ground game.

“They’re going to be running the ball, we’re going to be running the ball,” he said. “This is going to be a run-heavy game.”

This story is a Missouri School of Journalism Collaboration.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - The 71st annual Christmas parade took over the streets of Fulton on Saturday afternoon. This year's theme... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:40:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Road signs honoring five Boone County veterans killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan were revealed Saturday. ... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:36:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — One person was transported to the hospital Friday night after being ejected from their vehicle. The... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
TIPTON — A shooting suspect is in the hospital after authorities shot him five times, according to a news release... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 8:50:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - Police are investigating after shots were fired at a Break Time in Fulton Friday night. According to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 1:25:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU spokesman Christian Basi, confirmed the man who died after being hit by a car on College Ave... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 9:34:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is waiving adoption fees this weekend, just in time for the holiday season.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:36:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri’s minimum wage rate is set to go up again soon. The state minimum wage will increase... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 5:21:41 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are inviting families to join them at the Governor's... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
BOONEVILLE - The Cooper County Sheriff's Office is asking travelers to find an alternate route on Highway 41 going to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:02:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia police chief Ken Burton has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after originally being charged with driving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Kari Hallowell, the mother of 17-year-old Hayden Holt, who died in an overnight car crash after being chased... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:04:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)- Two U.S. officials have identified the shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola as a second... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - This weekend, 47 high school basketball teams from five states will go head-to-head in the 2019 Norm Stewart... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:24:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Former MU Quarterback Drew Lock is set to make his second start with the Denver Broncos this Sunday versus... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 12:28:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in Sports
BOONE COUNTY- A 52-year-old male suffered two gunshot wounds Thursday night after getting into a fight with two people at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:53:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
RICH HILL- Relatives of a missing Missouri mother say they are growing increasingly concerned after deputies found the woman's phone,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:22:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Hayden Holt, a 17-year-old from Hallsville, died in an overnight car crash... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:41:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
5am 37°
6am 37°
7am 40°
8am 41°