Viera football looking to address key positions this spring


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Davis Mallinger's playmaking skills will be on display when the Viera Hawks open sping football practice later this month.

Carl Kotala

Aside from seeing how much bigger and stronger players have gotten after a few months in the weight room, one of the best parts about spring football is seeing how well some guys can step into bigger roles.

That’s certainly the case for the Viera Hawks, who will have several spots to fill when spring practice opens.

“Going into spring, I think our first test is going to be looking at how C.J. Simms handles the quarterback position,” Viera coach Derek Smith said. “He had an opportunity to play for us in a few games last year due to an injury and I think he played very solid in those games. He showed he has the potential to be a very good quarterback.

“He’s gained the confidence of his teammates during offseason workouts and throwing the ball around with these guys. I’m very confident he’s going to fill the role for us at quarterback.”

Simms, a rising junior, will have some dangerous weapons around him and an experienced line in front of him.

With Tyler Matas and Brady Touzet both expected to move inside to handle the guard positions, the tackle spots will go to Justin Humphreys and Cooper Liston.

Liston is expected to sit out the spring recovering from an injury, so Kyle Bortz will be at right tackle.

The center spot likely will belong to either Tommy Arevalos or Jackson Hatfield.

Viera’s running game will benefit from the return of a healthy T.J. Johnson. And with the county’s fastest runner — Davis Mallinger — on board along with speedsters Zack Sedaros, Preston Foreman and Mark Adams, the Hawks won’t lack for playmakers.

Viera also will have tall possession receivers such as Caleb Osburn, Jake Houston and James Goffigan, plus shifty slot receivers like Jake Woodruff and Cohen Graham-Johnson.

Tyler Cooley and Cam Wright should see time at tight end.

Viera’s defensive line will lose Illinois-bound Cooper Davis, but there still is plenty of talent with Jamari Lyons, Hatfield, Cooley and Nate Acevedo to make it a dominant unit.

The biggest question mark might be at linebacker where the Hawks return Kato Holmes and Johnny Eaton, but will be looking to fill the other two spots. Aiden Ferrer and Austin Smith will get the first chance.

With Sedaros at safety and Adams at one cornerback spot, the leading candidate for the other corner position is Nolan Helton.

Viera is scheduled to host West Orange in its spring game at 7 p.m. May 29.

Note: As of press time, all Brevard County and state high school sports were shut down until at least April 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spring football is scheduled to start April 27.