Football team preview: Armwood


At a glance

Coach: Evan Davis (fourth season)

Class: 7A, District 8

Last year: 12-2 (lost in state semifinals)

Key players: OL Ethan Beasley, So.; DB Noah Biglow, Sr.; OL Christopher Bradley, Sr.; DL Christopher Davis Jr., Sr.; LB Jyrin Eston, Jr.; DB Zaequan Gilliespy, Sr.; OL Jonathan Haley, Sr.; ATH; DB Demarion Hopkins, Sr.; OL Ty Love, Sr.; OL Steph Martin, Sr.; Charles Montgomery, Sr.; QB Cam’Ron Ransom, Sr.; DL Ryan Redfield, Sr., RB James Smiley, Jr.; WR Kye Stokes, Jr.; DT Desmond Watson, Sr.


Sept. 11 at Bloomingdale

Sept. 17 vs. Plant

Sept. 25 vs. Hillsborough

Oct. 2 at Wiregrass Ranch

Oct. 9 Bye

Oct. 16 vs. Tampa Bay Tech

Oct. 23 at Gaither

Oct. 30 at East Bay

Nov. 6 vs. Newsome

Things to know

Never count out the Hawks

In February, Armwood had a signing day bonanza. A whopping 14 players put pen to paper as they turned oral pledges into binding ones. With their college decisions official, the Hawks had the unenviable task of figuring out how to replace them. But Armwood already is well-versed in these perpetual personnel churns. Once again, the Hawks have quality reinforcements to fill the holes in their lineup. Though there were 11 starters to replace, Armwood’s offense still is potent. Its defense is still stingy. Hawks coach Evan Davis said the situation is similar to the 2018 season when the team had to replace several key starters. Though many did not give them a chance, Armwood ended up playing in its fifth state title game in a six-year span. Can this team duplicate that run?  “There’s just such a sense of team and togetherness with this group,” Davis said. “The attitude is great. I like where we’re at.”

Ransom is ready to go

Cam’Ron Ransom is poised to have his best season in his third and final year as Armwood’s starting quarterback. Davis lauded the senior’s development in the offseason, particularly his maturity and leadership abilities. Ransom still has some dynamic playmakers at his disposal. Charles Montgomery, who has already committed to Florida, was the team’s leading receiver last year and can do a little bit of everything on offense. James Smiley, a coveted junior prospect, will take over the bulk of the rushing load. The offensive line has been retooled. Steph Martin, a basketball player, decided to come out this year and will man one of the tackle positions. Ty Love came over from Plant. They will team with holdovers Ethan Beasley, Christopher Bradley and Jonathan Haley. 

Another dominating defense

The Hawks have to replace six starters on defense, including three in the secondary. But there still are plenty of pieces in place that can help that unit remain among the area’s best. Up front, Armwood is led by Desmond Watson, who joined Montgomery in committing to the Gators. Joining Watson in the trenches are Ryan Redfield and Christopher Davis. The top returning linebacker is Jyrin Eston, who had 75 tackles and two interceptions last season. Noah Biglow, a Pittsburgh commit, is the lone returner in the secondary. The defensive backfield did get some reinforcements with Zaequan Gilliespy transferring from Plant and Demarion Hopkins coming over from Hillsborough.