Keyonteze Johnson

Pinson Valley's Keyonteze Johnson charges forward on Pat Dye Field in Auburn. 

Despite winning back-to-back state titles, Class 6A powerhouse Pinson Valley has a lot to prove this upcoming fall.

“I know this team has a lot to prove because a lot of people think we can’t do it [without] Bo,” stated senior wide receiver Tez Johnson. “We’re going to go out there and prove everyone wrong.”

Pinson Valley checks in at No. 1 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association preseason poll

For the first time in since 2016, the Indian offense will be without 5-star quarterback Bo Nix. The Auburn signee led both the 2017 and 2018 Pinson Valley teams to 6A state championships.

The starting quarterback battle is between sophomore Caleb Nix, who holds an offer from Troy, and senior Barry White. The two will battle it out through the season as both will get playing time to start the year.

“It will definitely go into the season,” said third-year Pinson Valley head coach Patrick Nix regarding the quarterback race. “Both will get reps and we will just continue to go, and it may happen that way all year. It may be that one guy emerges and really steps forward.”

Despite the quarterback being undecided, the Indian offense has plenty of proven stars and upperclassmen. Johnson, a Troy commit, returns as the leading receiver.

The running game will feature senior Jay Sharp, a senior who had a shortened season last year due to injury, and junior Kenji Christian. Both backs hold D-1 FBS offers; Sharp possesses an offer from Navy and Christian holds an offer from Kansas.

Defensively, the Indians have much returning. Headlining the defense is 5-star defensive back Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry. The junior has been offered by over 20 D-1 schools.

The Tribe also has linebacker Antoine Williams returning to lead the defense. Williams has asserted himself as a leader, according to Coach Nix.

Coach Nix believes this year’s team has its own identity, and is in no way trying to replicate the teams in the past two years.

“Our team does not have to measure up to last years team or the team before that. There’s no comparison. Our team just has to be the best team this year that we can be,” Nix said on his team’s expectations.

Just like last season, Pinson Valley will open up the season traveling to a 7A foe. This year, the Indians head to Hewitt-Trussville to battle on Friday, Aug. 23.

Pinson Valley will remain in Class 6A Region 6 play. The Indians host region foes Shades Valley, Oxford, and Huffman. They travel to Clay-Chalkville, Gardendale, and Pell City in region play.

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