Spring's full of opportunities for Hawks


Sean Atkins was one of the top wide receivers in Brevard County last season as a junior. And as the Hawks get ready for spring practice on April 23, the plan is to get him the ball even more in 2018.

Viera Voice Carl Kotala


Spring football promises to an exciting time for the Viera High Hawks this year.

Not only is there a new head coach, but there also will be an opportunity for a lot of young players to make their case for filling a vital role next season.

Derek Smith, who moved up from defensive coordinator to head coach when Kevin Mays left to become the athletic director at Tohopekaliga High, is hardly a stranger to the Hawks.

In fact, the only big changes Viera players can expect when spring practice opens on April 23 will be adjusting to an offensive staff that will now have Mike Degory serving as offensive coordinator.

“It’s not a new offense, but just transitioning with the new offensive staff, making sure we continue to click offensively like we have in the past (will be the biggest things to accomplish this spring),” Smith said.

Viera is expected to have 11 returning starters next season, including standout receiver Sean Atkins and offensive linemen Gavin Lamp, Andrew Hart, Chris Murphy and Aaron Plotkin.

Rising sophomore Bryce Norton will open as the favorite to win the starting quarterback role with rising senior Jordan Emmons providing competition. Emmons also could see time at receiver along with rising sophomore Caleb Osburn and rising junior Karsten Poole.

Viera has a trio of running back candidates in Jalen Housey, Nate DePlancke and Kevin Chandler.

Defensively, the Hawks have an experienced secondary with returners Cortez Reid and Garrett Kaminski with Quez Menyfield expected to step into one of the cornerback spots.

Rising senior Brock Holland, who should be a three-year starter for Viera, will lead a veteran linebacking group that also includes Bear Bollinger and Andre Jones.

The defensive line will be led by Cooper Davis, Aaron Thomas and Chancellor McGriff while rising sophomore Julius Barfield should be a player to watch.

The Hawks will play their spring game at 7 p.m. May 24 on the road against Orlando Jones.

“We’re playing a very athletic Jones team in the spring game, which is going to test our athleticism right away,” Smith said.