Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was like most previous years for Lovett in that the Lions once again advanced to the state playoffs.

But Lovett, which won a state title in 2013 and is used to making deep runs in the postseason, ended last season disappointingly with an 8-3 record and a loss to eventual champion Callaway in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.

In 2021, with six starters back on offense and only four returning on defense, the Lions will have lots of holes to fill. Lovett will miss six key starters who graduated – WR/DB/KR Collin Goldberg (Washington University signee), WR/DB Andrew Pinkston (Northwestern baseball signee), RB/LB Michael Hollingsworth, OL/DL Wells Kamerschen (Rhodes signee), TE/LB Charlie Hoke and OL/DL Grant Turner.

“We’ve got to replace our playmakers,” Lions head coach Mike Muschamp said. “That’s going to be a pretty tall task because Goldberg and Pinkston did an awful lot for us. Losing Kamerschen up front and Turner up front really hurt us.”

Lovett will look to six returning starters for leadership: seniors Stevie Bracey (TE/LB, Virginia commitment), Logan Givens (WR/DB) and William Stimmel and Luke Graham (both OL/DL), junior RB/LB Anderson Beavor and sophomore QB Preston Lusink.

As the Lions prepare for this season and form their own identity, Muschamp said finding new leaders will be the biggest challenge.

“Each year’s a new year. Each team is a new team,” he said. “We lost a good group of seniors who did a good job (with) leadership skills, and that to me is the probably the hardest thing to replace. Those guys did a really nice job of keeping the team together through the crazy year we had last year.”

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