STAR CITY — After six years of being led by Blair Brown, Star City has a new head coach in Jett Furneaux.
But with sophomore Tye Brown — the son of the former coach — taking over as the team’s starting quarterback, the Brown family will still have a strong influence on the Bulldogs’ success.
“Probably one of the smartest football kids I’ve ever been around,” Furneaux said. “He comes from a coaching family.
“He’s really good at just picking apart the defense. He’s got a very accurate arm.”
For Brown, the coaching change has been a smooth process. Mainly because Furneaux had been the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator for the past four seasons.
“I’ve always been around coach Jett, because he was an offensive guy,” Brown said.
Brown has been impressed with Furneaux’s influence on the team.
“We’ve got a good group of guys,” Brown said. “We’re changing and changing for the better.”
Furneaux thinks his prior experience with the players is what has led to the early success.
“I think it’s been a really smooth transition,” he said.
Sophomore Austin Capps, who has only spent one season with Furneaux, thinks so too.
“I don’t know him as well as Tye (does),” Capps said. “But, I still think he is a good coach.”
A lot of Furneaux’s success will depend on the development of the offensive line, specifically the development of Capps.
“We’re young on the offensive line,” Furneaux said. “We’ve got athletic ability but we’re young.
“We just have to cut down on our missed assignments.”
The University of Arkansas offered Capps, who played the final four games with the varsity team last year, a scholarship in June.
“Being a 10th grader and getting an offer from Arkansas is pretty self-explanatory,” Furneaux said. “He has the potential and the athletic ability to be one of the most highly-touted recruits in the history of Arkansas.”
According to Furneaux, the left guard needs to work on his stamina more than anything else. Capps agrees.
“I need to stay on the field,” Capps said. “I’d rather be in the game doing it myself than having someone else do it.”
Besides keeping Brown on his feet, the offensive line will also look to open holes for junior running back Dajunn Harris.
“Dajunn started all 11 games as a sophomore,” Furneaux said. “We think he’s a guy we can give the ball to 15-20 times a game.”
Harris is also tasked with helping take the pressure off of Brown.
“Dajunn is a good player,” Brown said. “He’s a good athlete and does a very good job.
“I’m definitely comfortable with him.”
Along with being a former offensive coordinator, Furneaux is a former Star City quarterback (1997-99). Even with all that experience on the offensive side of the ball, Furneaux said his biggest focus is on defense.
“When I took over I wanted to sell out on defense,” Furneaux said. “Any coach will tell you, offense puts butts in the seats, but defense wins championships.
“My philosophy is we are going to put who we think are our best 11 athletes on the defensive side of the ball.”