Meet the Calhoun Tigers – Destined for greatness

Published 5:11 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

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The Calhoun School is geared up and ready for the 2023-2024 football season. After starting off with a tough 12-6 loss against the Barbour County Jaguars on Sep. 1, the Tigers’ head coach Ervin Starr said he and his players are working even harder to ensure the rest of their season is packed with wins. 

The Calhoun School 2023 Varsity Football Team

And, with a younger team fighting on the gridiron this year, there are many starters who aim to showcase their talents as they proudly represent their alma mater under the Friday night lights.

Head Coach Ervin Starr said that his program has shown exponential growth over the last six years, and due to both a big confidence boost from a stellar junior high football season during the 2022-2023 season as well as the addition of new players, he feels that this year’s team is destined for greatness. 

The Calhoun School head coach Ervin Starr describes growth he has witnessed on the Tigers team. Pictured are Starr and Central High School head coach Corvin Johnson.

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“We’ve got some gentle giants that we’ve brought in,” Starr said. “We’ve got two guys that are over 380 pounds, so we’re going to be able to move some people and use those athletes. We’re gonna have to make some holes for them and let their speed and skill take over.”

For senior offensive and defensive lineman No. 55 Lee Moorer Jr., this will be his last season in pads, so he hopes to give it his all and leave everything on the field.

“I’ve been playing since I was in fifth grade,” Moorer said. “I like hitting and love playing, but after high school I don’t have plans to continue playing. I want to go to Wallace (Lurleen B. Wallace Community College) and become a traveling welder.”

The Calhoun School relies on special teams coaches, who support head coach Ervin Starr. Pictured are (left to right) Calhoun Offensive Coordinator Robert Sellers, Jr. and Defensive Coordinator Felix Allen.

Other players, however, are diving deep into practicing so they can showcase their skills in hopes of moving forward to play college football after their high school career ends. This rings true for sophomore wide receiver and cornerback Davyon Lewis, No. 5, who has been playing the game he loves since he was in the third grade.

“I love the game,” Lewis said. “It just brings out ‘me’. I really want to play college football and I want to play for Alabama.”

Another long-time player, sophomore defensive lineman Michael Gill No. 52 works diligently to disrupt opponents’ offensive line and keep their running plays to a minimum. Gill has been playing football for the last ten years and said he is far from finished as he pushes to ensure he can secure a spot on a college roster once high school is in his rear view, though his long-time goal is to become an electrician engineer. 

Sophomore Ayokunia McCall, No. 25, is in his third year as a Calhoun Tiger defensive end, defensive tackle, and tight end. On the field, McCall pushes to put pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback during passing plays and stop any players who are headed for the line of scrimmage. McCall acknowledged that while talent is necessary in a player, the willingness to learn and do better is what truly makes a star athlete.

“I’m a hard worker and I’m definitely a coachable player,” McCall said. “My goal is just to do everything right with no flaws.”

Calhoun players Gabriel Bueno and Davyon Lewis attend the Lowndes County Football Media Day 2023.

Wide receiver and kicker, No. 7 Gabriel Beuno has only been playing football for two years but has the determination to succeed and has put in the hard work necessary to secure his spot as a starter for the Tigers. Bueno’s main goal on the field is simple: score points. An enthusiastic player, Bueno said that while he gets a rush from receiving a nice pass, he has one favorite task on the field. 

“I love kicking the ball,” Bueno said. 

Starr acknowledged that he has a young team on both sides of the ball, but that he has a team packed full of very fast players which he plans to use to his team’s advantage, with the team’s main goal for both offense and defense being to score points. 

Starr said that with new coaching staff and dedicated athletes, he is confident the Tigers will have a successful season and is excited to see how his team performs this year.

“If these guys can get the ball in their hands, it’s going to be hard to catch them.” Starr said. “When one recipe isn’t working for you, you gotta try something else and that’s what the guys see, and they’ve bought into it. I think that’s going to give us a pretty successful season going forward.”

The Tigers are confident they are on the road to success this year and encourage members of the community to come out and support them on their quest for greatness. To learn more about this year’s team, readers can view video from the 2023 Lowndes County Football Media Day on our website,