Thursday, October 4, 2007

Preparation difficult for Redmen, Dragons

Preparation difficult for Redmen, Dragons

By Jim Walker/Tribune Sports Editor

The Boy Scout motto is “Always Be Prepared.”

Where are the Boy Scouts when you need them?

Preparation has been difficult this week for the Fairland Dragons and Rock Hill Redmen as they brace for a first place battle in the Ohio Valley Conference.

“They give you a whole bunch of sets which makes it difficult to prepare for. They have some pretty decent athletes, so they’ll definitely be a challenge for us,” said Fairland coach Brent Wilcoxon.

On the other side, Redmen head coach Todd Knipp has his own headaches trying to prepare for the Dragons wide-open spread passing game and their single-wing running game.

“They’re the hardest team by far we’ve had to prepare for because he’s blended two widely contrasting styles and they’re executing them pretty well. The single-wing was popular when FDR was president,” said Knipp with a laugh.

Fairland opened conference play last week with a key win over Coal Grove while the Redmen scored twice late to beat River Valley.

“That game was a big stepping stone for them. They’ve had Coal Grove on the ropes the last three years. Right now they’re playing pretty good football,” said Knipp.

Rock Hill (5-1) relies heavily on the running of Wes Pierson, but the passing of quarterback Drew Kuehne gives the Redmen balance.

“Any time you’re one dimensional, it makes it easier to prepare. But with more than one dimension, it makes it more difficult and they have those dimensions this year,” said Wilcoxon.

Fairland (3-3) switches its offensive sets at any given moment which is causing Knipp more concerns.

“I worry that our kids have got to make proper adjustments with them going no huddle. We have to get in proper positions. We have to try and keep them off the field,” said Knipp.

Fairland quarterback Cole Hatfield has thrown for more than 1,000 yards and he has two key receivers in Michael Lamb and Chad Fisher. But running backs Jordan Kersey and Matt Bloomfield had helped bolster the ground game.

Ironton Tribune - Ironton,OH,USA


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