Week 1: Five area players to watch tonight on the gridiron

DeKalb’s Corey Price

Each Friday, Outside the Huddle will kick off game day by highlighting five players across the area that you should keep an eye on this week.

We begin in Week 1 highlighting a quintet of quarterbacks.

Corey Price, DeKalb (vs. Angola)

Price (pictured) has proven to be a team player by stepping aside a year ago from the quarterback position and attempting to thrive wherever DeKalb needed him. And he had to do a lot of different things in the process.

It all brings him back to the QB spot where his mobility is going to be something that keeps Angola’s defense guessing a little bit more than if he just stood in the pocket and hurled the ball. Last season in a win against the Hornets, DeKalb had success both ways so it is nice for them that Price can do both.

Jackson Barbour, Leo (vs. Woodlan)

We have talked a lot about Barbour this preseason and for good reason. With the biggest piece of the Lions’ offense from a season ago gone in Payton Wall, Barbour is going to have to take over leadership and control very quickly for a team that has high expectations. Behind that, the heir apparent at running back – Mason Sheron – won’t play tonight, so the run game won’t be where the Lions want it.

Barbour is going to need to be poised as Leo welcomes a completely rebuilding Woodlan team.

Against a Warrior team that returns so little, don’t be surprised to see Barbour’s arm get a workout as Leo tests out his growth from a season ago.

Sawyer Yoder, Central Noble (at West Noble)

When a conference, or in this case a division, is considered a one-horse race, things can get fun behind that.

With the NECC Small School Division looking that way with Eastside, don’t count out Central Noble from getting some steam behind it. A win against a county rival from the other side of the conference could put a lot of wind in their sails and that has to start with Yoder. The senior, who was an Outside the Huddle All-Area pick at punter last season, has grown tremendously as an athlete in the last eight months and anyone who saw him on a basketball court during that time knows that. Yoder is long and agile and will test himself against an always-stout West Noble defense.

Luke Haupert, Snider (vs. North Side)

One of many top-level schools that have to replace a quarterback, Snider has always had a way of blending new signal callers in seamlessly. After two years behind Jon Barnes Jr., the next Haupert arrives in the form of Luke. His older brother Michael threw dimes during his time as the Panthers quarterback and time will tell what Luke is going to do with the ball in his hands.

Week 1 will test his strong agility and lateral quickness because North Side’s defense has a lot of hype, skill and athleticism in its own right. Haupert impressed on the camp circuit over the summer, but heads into tonight with pressure to guide an inexperienced Snider team into SAC contention, beginning with test No. 1.

Dalton Stinson, East Noble (vs. Plymouth)

Another guy who has big shoes to fill is Stinson. And we all know that he, perhaps, has the biggest shoes to fill following Outside the Huddle Player of the Year Bailey Parker.

Knowing your team isn’t supposed to take much of a downturn from a state finalist group yet having to replace that team’s best player could be daunting. But Stinson has good potential in what has been a long line of top-notch East Noble quarterbacks.

Stinson throws a good ball and his mission against Plymouth tonight will be to find consistency with multiple targets at his disposal. As long as he doesn’t try to do to much too soon and give himself time to settle, Dalton Stinson will be just fine in Kendallville.

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