Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gibson puts winning 'spin' on Holtville

Gibson puts winning 'spin' on Holtville

By Josh Moon

Barry Gibson is doing a lot of teaching in his new gig as Holtville High's head coach.

On this year's syllabus: How to win, instill discipline, confidence, a new defensive philosophy and an entirely new offensive scheme.

Yeah, it's going to be a tough road.

"This is a team that's won three games in two years, so we know there's a lot to be taught here," Gibson said. "There's some talent, and we'll rely on that to start with. But our main focus right now is just getting these guys in the right frame of mind."

The biggest key to the Bulldogs' season will be the ability of the players to pick up Gibson's "Spin" offense, a variation of the triple option that uses a complex variety of misdirection and deception.

The "Spin" is Gibson's baby, so to speak.

He developed the style seven years ago and has taught it to numerous other coaches around the country. He currently has three DVDs being sold online and has taught the system to several coaches. He said there are currently around 300 schools across the nation using it.

"We'll run multiple formations out of it and line up a lot in the old single-wing formation," Gibson said. "I think, for the most part, the kids are excited about the new offense. They've worked very hard in practice, I'll say that. We couldn't ask for more out of them."

Junior quarterback Daniel Arant, who started as a sophomore for the Bulldogs last season, will lead the new offense. Also returning in the offensive backfield is junior running back Akevious McCall.

"We don't have a lot of experience returning," Gibson said. "This team went 2-8 last year and it wasn't because they were young. We lost a lot of seniors.

"This year will be about rebuilding and getting this team in position to do well in the future. Maybe we can surprise a few teams, too."

Montgomery Advertiser
425 Molton St.
Montgomery, AL 36104

Holtville High School
10425 Holtville Rd

Deatsville, AL 36022

WAYNESBORO: An early start

By Robert Sisk

Published: August 21, 2008

Waynesboro coach Steve Isaacs hopes that the injury bug has had its fill for the season.

Before the first snap of the year the Little Giants are already banged up, not critically, but enough to cause problems. Most notably Waynesboro speedster, Terrell Thompson, who might sit out tonight’s game against Turner Ashby.

“I don’t think it’s any secret, but Terrell is a big part of this team and he coupled with Steven [Brown] that’s that thunder and lighting backfield. Right now we just have the thunder,” Isaacs said.

Last year Waynesboro was flooded with injuries during the second week of the season, which contributed to its 1-9 finish, but there still is a silver lining— Waynesboro’s roster is full. More than 35 players will wear the purple and gold tonight against Turner Ashby, allowing Isaacs to give his players a break and prevent even more injury.

“If we had this number of injuries going into a scrimmage I would have cancelled it,” Isaacs said. “We are one and two deep as far as quality. We’d hope to be able to have everyone going one way. I don’t think we will have more than a handful of guys going both ways.”

But Waynesboro does have another challenge. The Little Giants only had one scrimmage this season before playing the always-challenging Knights in Bridgewater.
“We’ve got fixing to do and the test to fix it will be TA, not another scrimmage,” Isaacs said.

Isaacs is well known for running a single wing offense, but starting this season he will be mixing in another element — the spread. The new feature will allow Waynesboro’s athleticism to shine and keep opponents off balance.
“I can’t say we will be 60/40 spread but the way we got it put in, we can go either way for a game or even whatever down and distance we need,” Isaacs said.

Waynesboro didn’t lose as many players as other teams in the Southern Valley, but did lose some key players like Will Walter and Tim Brown. Filling those spots will be the hardest challenge for the Little Giants.

“We lost key players and now we’ve got to replace them,” Isaacs said. “We got 10 seniors 11 juniors and 17 sophomores. The odds say that some replacements will have to be sophomores. They are quality, but they aren’t battle ready yet. I think we can, its just getting them ready.

After traveling to TA tonight, Waynesboro will host Western Albemarle on Week 2 and will travel to Covington — the only team the Little Giants beat last year — on Week 3. The Little Giants will open up their Southern Valley schedule on Week 4 at Stuarts Draft.

Waynesboro News Virginian
1300 West Main St.
Waynesboro, Virginia 22980
Waynesboro High School

1200 West Main Street
Waynesboro, Virginia 22980

Dr. John Ward has assumed the offensive coordinators position at East Columbus

LAKE WACCAMAW — The Lakewood Leopard football team hits the pavement to Lake Waccamaw to face the East Columbus Gators in tonight’s endowment game. The Leopards are limited due to numbers this season and will be challenged to prevent injuries to create a problem in depth.

“The look good on tape,” shared Lakewood head football coach, James Lewis. “They are big. In last week’s scrimmage East Columbus defeated E. E. Smith and that is not good for us.”

Lewis expressed that he and his staff had some idea of the offense that the Gators will be running and have played against it before as Dr. John Ward has assumed the offensive coordinators position at East Columbus. “I expect to see the Single Wing,” said Lewis.

The Leopards experienced two injuries this week in practice with a lineman breaking a thumb and another player seeing the doctor today regarding a knee injury. The Leopard coach expressed that his team had to keep injuries to a bare minimum.

“Our hope is to keep it close and have a chance at the end. That is what we talked about at practice on Thursday and I hope we are able to do that,” concluded Lewis.

Lakewood and East Columbus hit the field at 7:30 p.m.

The Sampson Independent
303 Elizabeth Street,
P O Box 89
Clinton NC 28329
East Columbus High School.
32 Gator Lane
Lake Waccamaw, NC 28450

Calvary opens tonight; numbers up for FC Colts

Published: August 22, 2008
Fred Conley, T-H Sports Editor

The Calvary Eagles are already 2-0 for the season in eight-man football.

Tonight, the team will play their first game, when they take on Pleasant View in Nashville, Tenn.

The Eagles have been the recipients of two forfeit victories already. Little Rock’s Southwest Christian Academy and Hot Springs Crossgate Christian Academy each forfeited their games to the Eagles.

Those two forfeit wins already assure the Eagles of a better season than last year, their first in eight-man football, in which they failed to win a game.

“I think we are much better than last year,” said Calvary coach Greg Mills. “We have a few more bodies this time, and we returned some experienced players. Last year, everyone was basically learning the basics of the game. This year, they know the basics and we have been able to work on other areas of our game.”

Mills singled out the defensive unit, which basically played a vanilla defense a year ago.

“This season, we will use different looks, a 4-3-1 or a 4-2-2 and we will shoot the gaps and do a lot of shifting,” Mills added. “On offense, we will start Jeremy Barnett at quarterback and we will put Cody Jackson at tailback and Josh Jackson at wingback.”

The Eagles will run from the Single Wing offensive set this season.

“I think we can score a lot of points, I’m just not sure how good we’ll be at stopping our opponents.” Mills said. “If we can keep the scores in the 30s, instead of the 70s like last year, I like our chances. We will have a much better idea of where we stand after tonight’s game.”

The Forrest City seventh grade Colts had 32 players on the practice field Thursday, as the team continues to prepare for the season opener on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

The seventh grade football program was rerouted this year, moving practice from first period every day, to an after school practice.

The seventh and eighth grade teams will host Wynne for the opening game.

The Colts are being coached this season by Allen Perry, Jacky England and Phillip Campbell.

Times-Herald of Forrest City, Arkansas

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Giles County kicker Cody Journell puts best foot forward

A lifelong Hokies fan, Giles kicker Cody Journell wasted little time deciding to accept the full scholarship Tech offered him.
By Robert Anderson

PEARISBURG — Cody Journell lined up for the most important kick of his life with the football placed squarely on the 45-yard line.

All was quiet in Lane Stadium as Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer stood nearby waiting anxiously.

Then Journell strode forward and mentally repeated his familiar mantra: plant, kick, follow through.

Good from 55 yards.

And the rising Giles High School senior had just messed up.

Journell was kicking in front of Beamer during a camp at Tech in June. He misunderstood the orders from the legendary Hokies coach and placed the ball down 20 yards farther from the goal post than Beamer wanted.

“I thought he said put it on the 45,” Journell said. “He actually said 'Put it down here on the 25.’ I put it down on the 45 and made it. Then I saw him write it down in his notebook.”

Chances are, what Beamer scribbled down was not, “Doesn’t follow instructions.”

Shortly after Journell’s performance in Blacksburg, the Hokies offered the Giles place-kicker a full scholarship. A lifelong Tech fan, Journell wasted little time deciding where he would kick off his college career.

'Let’s kick it’
Blacksburg High School fans already had witnessed Journell’s talent. His 54-yard field goal against the Bruins sent Giles’ season-opening game into overtime, where the Spartans prevailed 46-43 in a state record-tying six OTs.

Assistant Rusty Kelley convinced Giles head coach Steve Ragsdale to attempt the game-tying kick with roughly two minutes left in regulation. Jeff Williams, who replaced Ragsdale as Giles’ head coach after the 2007 season, recalled his boss’ reaction.

“Coach Kelley’s the one that said, 'Let’s kick it,’” Williams said. “Coach Ragsdale turned around like, 'Are you crazy?’ ”

Ragsdale had not gone loco in the final seconds of regulation either, when he sent Journell out to attempt a potential game-winner from 57 yards out.

The howitzer from Journell’s right foot cleared the crossbar but sailed just wide.

“To me though, the most impressive kick was when he made a 42-yarder to tie it up in the third overtime,” Williams said. “The official on the left upright came back after he kicked that one and said, 'Coach, that would have been good from 70.’ ”

In rare company
Tales of Journell’s prodigious distance do not come as news to Doug Blevins. The Abingdon-based kicking guru — who once served as a personal tutor to Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri — has worked with Journell since 2006.

According to Blevins, few high school kickers in the country can match the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Giles senior’s length.

“Very few,” Blevins said. “You can count them on both hands.

“He’s got the potential to go a long way. He really, really does. I’ve seen a lot of guys I’ve coached as early as I did him. I knew they’d be in the league and they have. He’s right along with [Houston Texans kicker] Kris Brown. He’s right there in that caliber.”

Journell is rated the No. 7 kicker in the 2008 class by national expert Chris Sailer. His 54-yard kick puts him No. 9 on the VHSL’s career list for longest field goals.

Blevins, who was the fulltime kicking coach for the Miami Dolphins under Jimmy Johnson and Dave Wannstedt, said Journell’s leg speed is the key.

“He’s got a very fast leg,” Blevins said. “A very strong leg. He’s quick. He’s well above average. Your leg speed comes from God. You can refine it, you can enhance it but that type of leg speed is God-given.”

More than a kicker
Journell will use his legs for much more than kicking this fall at Giles. He will be the starting tailback in the Spartans’ single-wing offense, which means he could be tackled upwards of 20 times per game.

The likelihood of injury and risk to his future will be greatly increased.

“It’s in the back of my mind, but I don’t think I could just stand on the sidelines my senior year and just kick,” Journell said.

Beamer and Tech assistant coach Billy Hite — who recruited Journell — are staying out of the discussion.

The Hokies did pretty well with Salem’s Nic Schmitt, a star defensive back in high school who was Tech’s punter for two years, posting a 43.2-yard average in 2005 for the second-best mark in school history.

Former UVa kicker Connor Hughes quarterbacked Lafayette to the 2001 VHSL Group AA Division 4 championship.

“They understand,” Williams said. “Cody’s a football player. He’s not a kicker. Nic Schmitt was one of the best high school safeties to play in our area.

That’s the way Cody is. He was one of our best defensive players last year.”

Journell works daily with snapper Corey Martin and holder Lucas Jackson. Williams and assistant Bryan Strader limit their coaching to protection and operation time. In games, the coaches just make sure Journell’s 12-year-old brother Carson runs Cody’s kicking shoe on the field in time.

“He’s such a good kicker now, we don’t really want to mess with him,” Williams said. “We just leave him alone and let him kick.”

A Blevins convert
Journell won’t soon forget the day his father, Jim, told him about a newspaper article he had read about a wheelchair-bound Southwest Virginia native who had overcome mild cerebral palsy to become a nationally renowned expert on kicking a football.

Soon afterward, the kid met Doug Blevins.

The results were immediate

“I could see improvement after the first day,” Journell said.

Mildly skeptical of advice coming from someone who never kicked a football himself, Journell quickly became a Blevins convert.

“Every time I tell somebody the story, they don’t understand that he can coach despite never kicking in his life,” Journell said. “He can just sit there one time and watch you kick and tell you what you need to change. He’ll build on that and go from there.

“My main thing was that I wouldn’t go straight to my plant spot. That would make my leg swing around so I would hook the ball.”

Blevins was in Blacksburg the day Journell drilled the 55-yard practice kick in front of Beamer. The kick came under college conditions, meaning narrower goal posts and no rubber block to support the ball.

“It certainly separates the men for the boys,” Blevins said. “You get a lot of guys in high school who are very proficient kickers. You take away that block and they struggle or don’t make it. You have to have a lot of leg speed to get the ball up in the air and have it fly straight off the ground.”

Made a winner
Adam Vinatieri was a nobody when he rolled into Abingdon in 1995 under the cover of darkness.

He didn’t show up just to wait tables at the Martha Washington Inn.

Vinatieri worked days with Blevins and in 2002 he made a 48-yard, game-winning field goal as New England upset St. Louis 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI. Two years later Vinatieri’s 41-yarder gave the Patriots a 32-29 victory over Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Every workout ended with a fantasy.

“He said that every day they would end practice on a 53-yarder from the right hash to win the Super Bowl,” Journell said.

The day is coming when Journell will soon live his own dream, when he will walk through the tunnel leading to Lane Stadium in a maroon and white Tech uniform.

“I can’t even imagine how it’s going to be,” Journell said. “I walked out the other day and there was nobody in the stands. I was still blown away.”

Video -- See video of Cody Journell and his kicking coach:

The Roanoke Times
201 W. Campbell Ave.
P.O. Box 2491
Roanoke, Va. 24010-2491
Giles High School. 1825 Wenonah Avenue. Pearisburg VA 24134


Science Hill Plans to Unveil a Spinner Formation that Bears a Resemblance to the Ancient Single Wing

Prep football: Marquee games open NET season
Published 08/20/2008 By Bill Lane

Kingsport’s community football spirit should get an opening-week spike with two marquee games that are expected to generate huge benefits to the 2008 season.

Crossover games between 4A and 5A classifications will have Tennessee High at Dobyns-Bennett tonight and Sullivan South at Science Hill Friday night.

D-B will be hosting the first outdoors game on artificial surface in the Tri-Cities, stirring memories of a similar meeting between the two.

In September 1989, No. 4-ranked Tennessee High took its home game indoors because of heavy rains from Hurricane Hugo and lost to D-B 20-14 at East Tennessee State’s Memorial Center.

An offensive show is expected at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. D-B has speedy Chris Sensabaugh in its backfield and the Vikings’ combustion comes from the fleet feet of Keenan Shepard.

“Each team has a quality running back, but both take pride in playing defense,’’ D-B coach Graham Clark said. “The scoring output may depend a lot on the number of mistakes that usually come in an opener.’’

THS coach Greg Stubbs realizes the perils of being involved in a landmark game in Kingsport.

“It’s always tough opening with a program like D-B’s,’’ he said. “There is a mystique over there.’’

The game was rescheduled to avoid conflict with Bristol’s race weekend.

“You can’t make folks choose between two great Southern cultural events like NASCAR and high school football,’’ Clark said, pointing out this will be D-B’s only Thursday game of the year.

A Class 5A team, D-B is the Big East Conference favorite. Tennessee High was picked second in the Class 4A Mountain Lakes Conference.

The Indians and Vikings swapped films of two preseason scrimmages.

“Films of scrimmages look like they were taken from the top of a school bus,’’ Clark said, “but we’re glad to have them.’’

South’s defense will be facing an offense new to the Northeast Tennessee landscape. Science Hill plans to unveil a spinner formation that bears a resemblance to the ancient single wing.

“The quarterback takes a direct snap and spins,’’ Science Hill coach Scott Smith said. “The other backs are coming and going in all directions.’’South coach Stacy Carter wants his team to play assignment defense.

“The best thing to do is to stay home and let them come to you,’’ Carter said.

The Hilltoppers, picked third in the Big East, will have split-duty quarterbacks. Isaac Kinley and Daniel Norris have taken a total of only four varsity snaps.

“Kinley is quick and they have a lot of other athletes,’’ Carter said. “We’re optimistic, but it is an opening game. We just want to keeping things simple and execute our basic plays.’’

South, looking for its fourth straight Mountain Lakes title, also will have a new quarterback. Bradley Davenport inherits the reins from all-stater Curt Phillips.

“Bradley showed a lot of promise in the jamboree,’’ Carter said. “He’s essentially a running back in our shotgun offense.’’

The ’Toppers lost to South 27-7 last year.

“Actually, they’re better than last year,” Smith said. “The new quarterback is good and he has 10 big, physical guys surrounding him. South’s defensive front seven are as good as any I’ve seen in a while.’’

Science Hill placekicker Brandon McAuley, who has a torn groin muscle, will not play. Jay Lauderback emerged from tryouts as his replacement.

“I’ll be surprised if it’s a high-scoring game,’’ Smith said.

Also This Week

Sullivan North (0-0) at David Crockett (0-0)

Defense has become a trademark of both teams. If QB Jamie Copas’ shoulder is healed, it could give Crockett a needed offensive spark. North’s attack is powered by QB Eric Pearcy and FB Hunter McReynolds. Both teams play offense close to the vest, indicating an easy night for the scorekeeper.

Grainger (0-0) at Cherokee (0-0)

With Rutledge High School no longer in existence, this will be the first athletic event for the Grainger Grizzlies. Cherokee, a Class 4A team, defeated Rutledge in their last three meetings and is favored to carry the streak over to Grainger (3A).

Kingsport Times-News
Science Hill High School
Hill Toppers
1509 John Exum Parkway
Johnson City, TN 37604

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peeking into Sanford’s secret zone

Ron Kantowski suspects coach’s closed practices might mean the backfield’s in motion at UNLV

By Ron Kantowski
Wed, Aug 6, 2008 (2 a.m.)

“Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 20, and running through the season, all UNLV football practices are CLOSED to the public.”

Had the press release been any more tersely worded, it would have come with a junkyard and a Doberman with a bad attitude.

And a black sign with bold red letters.


This means you, Rebel fans.

At first, I thought this was just Mike Sanford’s way of reaching out to potential new fans. I mean, what better way to attract new blood to the program than throw it out of practice? Thanks for the boot print on my rear end, Coach. Now where do I get season tickets?

I’ve been to a lot of UNLV football practices when they were open — i.e., when John Robinson was coach. Robinson would drive over in his golf cart and ask how you were doin’. Maybe tell you a story about the Trojans beating up on Notre Dame or UCLA. Or ask if you had a play that might work against Colorado State on Saturday.

In fairness to Sanford, a lot of college football coaches close practice. Usually they have three letters on their cap. Like LSU. Or OSU. But not USC. Pete Carroll’s practices at Southern Cal look like one of those parties after the Oscars. Or the Hard Rock pool on Sunday afternoon. Hey, isn’t that Will Ferrell throwing passes to Snoop Dogg?

Either the Pac-10 stinks, or Carroll’s laid-back approach is proof that you don’t have to run football practice like Sgt. Hulka’s boot camp to be successful.

In seven years at USC, Carroll has posted a 76-14 record with two national championships.

In three years at UNLV, Sanford has posted a 6-29 record with no national championships, no conference championships, not even a victory over in-state rival Nevada-Reno. But the Rebels did lose a close game at Wyoming last year.

In fairness to Sanford, if he weren’t 6-29 after stating the Rebels would be winning bowl games and attaining Top 25 rankings and hadn’t said he had everything he needed here to attain those lofty goals, you could almost let him slide on the closed practice thing.

But I think there’s a reason he’s doing it this year that has nothing to do with a fan’s walking off with a football — those cost money, you know — that sails wide right at the quiet end of the practice field where the kickers and punters pretend they are busy.

It’s because he is installing the two-quarterback offense and he wants to keep it a secret.

That’s right, the two-quarterback offense. Not an offense featuring alternating quarterbacks. You’ve already seen that. Year after year after year after year. This will be my 22nd season of watching football and getting my car dirty at Sam Boyd Stadium. I’ve seen three winning seasons. But lots of alternating quarterbacks. Believe me, this isn’t all Sanford’s fault.

No, I’m talking about an offense that employs two quarterbacks at the same time. A double shotgun formation. Backward passes and forward passes. On the same play.

Actually, when Kurt Bryan, a high school coach in California, and his pal Steve Humphries concocted the two-quarterback attack they called it the Pluto Offense, because there’s where it seemed to fit in the solar system of planets and football offenses: Single Wing, Mercury, Veer, Mars, Wishbone, Jupiter, West Coast, Neptune, Run N Shoot, Pluto. That about covers it.

They’ve since renamed it the A-11 as in all eleven, the number of players who are potentially eligible to catch the ball. Or run with it. I won’t describe it here, but if you do a Google search, you’ll find some clips of the A-11 in action. You’ll immediately notice the two shotgun quarterbacks. And that when the ball is snapped, players start running around as if their pants were on fire.

You’ll also notice that the players with “PIEDMONT” on their jerseys often wind up catching or running with the football about 30 yards downfield.

Piedmont is a small high school in Northern California with an enrollment of fewer than 1,000 students and a football team that was constantly getting beaten up by schools twice its size. Sort of like UNLV against BYU.

So the coaches invited Cheech Marin and the ghost of Dr. Timothy Leary to practice one day and picked their brains for an idea on how they could level the playing field.

(Actually, Marin and Leary weren’t involved in the process, but when you line up with two quarterbacks in a double shotgun formation, you’ve got to explain it to the principal somehow.)

So instead of going 2-10, little Piedmont went 7-4 and made the playoffs. Bryan said he has been contacted by 35 to 40 Division I-A schools inquiring about the A-11. From every conference, he said.

When I asked Mark Wallington of the UNLV sports information office whether Sanford was putting in the two-quarterback offense, and that’s why football practice is closed, he played dumb.

I’m tellin’ you, Sanford is up to something.

Mark my words. He’s gonna play Utah State straight, because you can beat Utah State wearing leather helmets and running the Single Wing. Then the Rebels will go up to Utah, where Omar Clayton and Travis Dixon, UNLV’s two returning quarterbacks, will line up in the double shotgun. (This news about Dixon moving to safety? Just another clever bit of misdirection by Sanford to throw the media off-track.) And the Rebels are going to blow the Utes’ minds even more than last year, when they won 27-0.

After the game, Sanford will probably tell reporters that it’s his offense.

Las Vegas Sun


Does Facing The Single-Wing Take Up Valuable Practice Time?

Editor's Note: Does Facing The Single-Wing Take Up Valuable Practice Time? See what the Opposition Says In The Last Two Paragraphs.
New coach, Hawks want to maintain gridiron tradition
Published: Monday, August 18, 2008 2:08 PM EDT

Hartley has been possibly the most stable job in Central Ohio, with Burchfield becoming just the third coach in 47 years.

Burchfield, a Reynoldsburg and Marietta College graduate, brings a youthful exuberance to the job that has kept the players motivated and on their toes.

The coach was most recently the head coach at Centerburg, going 30-25 in five seasons with two playoff appearances, including advancing to the state semifinal game in 2005.

The coach has served both as a defensive coordinator (Canal Winchester) and offensive coordinator (Marietta) in his career.

The Hawks set up to be a fairly young team, but Burchfield sees a group with talent, regardless of its experience level.

"We're young within the system, whether they're seniors or freshmen and sophomores," he explained. "We certainly have young players on the field. We'll have some freshmen and sophomores who will contribute, but we think they're talented players."

Sophomore Austin Underwood (6-1, 175), a transfer from Reynoldsburg, is expected to start at the quarterback position, with freshman Eric Siefert (6-1, 150) serving as his backup.

Those protecting the signal-callers up front will include seniors Nick Wahle (6-0, 190), Nick Muetzel (6-2, 215) and Cody Jackson (5-10, 195), juniors Corey McSweeney (6-3, 225) and Cody Mackey (6-1, 250), and sophomore Brandon Michalek (5-10, 180).

Sophomore Evan Jackson (6-0, 200) and junior Justin Momeyer (6-2, 210) are two other linemen who will likely see the field.

Possibly the most exciting area of the Hawks' roster is at the running back and receiver positions, where talent abounds.

Seniors Rufus Walls (6-1, 180), Malike McCord (6-1, 215), Jotham Allwein (5-10, 160) and Luke Evans (5-10, 165), junior Geoffrey Whiteside (5-10, 170) and sophomore Noah Key (5-10, 175) will all contribute at skill positions.

"We have some really good players there," Burchfield said. "I think our idea is we want to spread the ball around to as many people as we can and get the ball in their hands in as many areas as we can.

"We want to use the entire length and width of the field and make defenses defend everybody. That's the basic concept we want to have."

The defensive line will be made up of players like Muetzel, Michalek, Cody Jackson, Evan Jackson and sophomore Ramsey Breslin (6-0, 260).

The linebacking unit could include any combination of Walls, McCord, McSweeney, Mackey, Momeyer, Wahle and freshman Jarrod Zang (5-9, 170).

Players in the secondary will be Whiteside, Key, Evans and juniors Ben Currie (5-10, 165) and Matt Taylor (5-8, 165).

Coming off a 5-5 season and with the retirement of Geyer, the Hawks will look to continue keeping the program successful, while also laying the groundwork for a new foundation.

"We've set a lot of goals," Burchfield explained. "I think any time at Bishop Hartley High School you have high expectations. You expect to be excellent. That's been established here for over 50 years and that doesn't change at all.

"From a coaching standpoint, we want to see the kids get better. Fortunately, we were able to get a lot better (during preseason workouts)."

Hartley will once again compete in Division IV, with hopes of advancing to the postseason, but just wishing for that won't get the job done, according to Burchfield.

"I don't know a team at this point in the season that doesn't expect to do very well," he said. "We need to put that away and decide what it is that we need to do to get us to be good and do well.

"We need to perform well and in the end we deserve what we get."

Burchfield has also grabbed hold and embraced the fact the Hawks are part of one of the best rivalries in the area, along with Ready, the only other team in the Central Catholic League Gold Division.

"We talk a lot about the responsibility that our kids have in being a member of the Central Catholic League," Burchfield explained. "We think that's important. The CCL has the reputation for some of the best football in Ohio and there's a great deal of responsibility that goes along with that.

"We're eager to accept that responsibility. We have a great deal of respect for (Ready). It's very important to us. There's not a day that goes by, similar to Ohio State-Michigan, that we don't talk about Ready or that we don't do something to try to get ready for that game."
New coach, Hawks want to maintain gridiron tradition
Published: Monday, August 18, 2008 2:08 PM EDT

After 27 years under the direction of Dick Geyer, those in the Hartley football program could be forgiven if there were a few hiccups while adjusting to the style of new coach Brad Burchfield.

From all indications, despite putting in a new system with nearly an entirely new staff, such issues haven't been a problem.

"That's the exciting thing about coaching," said Burchfield of preseason camp. "It's an opportunity to come together and improve, jell and bond. It's about doing things better than the day before.

"Being a new coach, everything is new and that's really exciting. We have a big advantage, because the kids have been so well-coached. The tradition has been so imbedded into the kids that it's made my job better."

The Hawks won three games in a row in the series, with the Silver Knights before losing to them 24-7 last year.

Hartley is scheduled to travel to Centennial Friday, Aug. 22, for its season opener.

The game was originally scheduled to take place at Jack Ryan Field, but renovations to the complex forced the move to the Stars' home.

"It'll be exciting," Burchfield said. "I think Centennial's an improved football team. They have some talented skill players we'll need to be keenly aware of.

They run almost a single wing philosophy on offense, which is quite different from other things we've seen in scrimmages and practices.

"We will have to be very prepared and have to play well."

The Columbus Local News • 5257 Sinclair Road • P.O. Box 29912 • Columbus, Ohio 43229
Single-Wing Team: Centennial High School • Columbus, Ohio 43220

Waynesboro football team seeks playoffs trip

WAYNESBORO — Coming off a 1-9 season, the Waynesboro Little Giants think they are a much improved team for the 2008 Southern Valley District campaign.

Waynesboro led in six of those 10 games before giving way to its opponent as the burden of playing both ways took its toll on the players.

This season's numbers are way up, and Little Giant coach Steve Isaacs has solved that depth problem as only two players are currently slated to play on both sides of the line.
"Last year, it was all of them," he said.

"We have good kids here," the Waynesboro coach said. "We have athletes and skilled players. I've never had this many skilled players at one time in my career. We can run the single wing, or bang the off-tackle, or we can go four or five wide and throw it downfield."

All told, the Little Giants have 39 players on their squad, including 11 seniors, 10 juniors, 17 sophomores and a freshman.

"They (sophomores) are stepping into front line positions, and are giving us a lot of depth, too," Isaacs said.

Looking at the district, Isaacs thinks the Little Giants have a chance.
"It still probably will have to go through Staunton or Lexington," he said. "Lee has the best athletes and Jason (Rockbridge County coach Jason White) has all those kids coming back, but don't count us out. If we stay healthy, we can get up on the porch, and knock on the door."
The Little Giants have 14 returning lettermen including eight starters on offense and four on defense.

Size-wise, the defensive line averages around 220 pounds, while speed-wise, Isaacs rates the team as excellent at all skilled positions.

The Waynesboro coach particularly likes his offense, which boasts an experienced backfield.
"We're not exceptionally strong anywhere, but on the other hand, there are no glaring weaknesses," he said.

On defense, the Little Giants will have a lot of new players, particularly sophomores, filling positions, and that inexperience will be tested.

Junior Chet Berry returns at quarterback. "He has really matured over the year," Isaacs said.
Running the ball will be seniors Terrell Thompson and Steven Brown, who have started since their freshman year. Brown carried the ball for 656 yards and seven touchdowns last season and was selected to the all-Southern Valley District first team. Also joining them is junior Eric Craig and senior blocking back Aaron Lamb.

The team has an abundance of receivers, led by all-district selection senior Clyde Thompson. Also in the mix are senior Tripp Hite, and sophomores Sean Hanlon and Bryant Carter.
The offensive line is not set. "We could start two seniors, a sophomore, freshman and junior, or three seniors, a junior and a sophomore," Isaacs said.

Returning senior guards are Jacob Lipscomb and Chaz Crews. Leading tackles are junior Marco Belew and sophomore Jon Isaacs, while senior Kendall Sweet will be at center.
On defense most of the returning experience is at linebacker where Brown and Lamb will go both ways. Joining them will be sophomore Tyler Briggs.
Manning the line at nose guard will be 6-foot-2, 347-pound sophomore Robin Silver. Also seeing time on the line are Crews, Lipscomb, and juniors Leroy Brown and Eddie Juarez.

The team's free safeties are sophomore Kevin Jackson and junior Justin Clark while sophomore Logan Jones is at the corner.

Steven Brown and Nick Vela will fill the kicking positions.

Isaacs' goal is for his team to practice on Thanksgiving Day. "That means we are in the playoffs," he said.

The News Leader
11 N. Central Avenue
Staunton, VA 24402
Waynesboro High School • 301 Pine Avenue • Waynesboro, VA 22980

Monday, August 18, 2008

Football merger kicks off - with SINGLE-WING

ST. NICHOLAS - The last time Jeremy Herman was coaching football, he was teaching his kids to beat Rapid River. Now, he's teaching his kids to be Rapid River.

Practice opened for fall sports teams around the area Monday, and introduced a new chapter in Rapid River football: a three-district co-operative, including Mid Peninsula and Big Bay de Noc.

Herman, who coached the Wolverines in their 46-28 Week 9 defeat Oct. 18 at Rapid River, is now an assistant under Rockets boss Steve Ostrenga. Mid Pen consolidated their football program with Rapid River for lack of players.

It is believed to be the first time one area program has been folded into another.

Herman was only head coach at Mid Pen for two years, so he can still maintain a relatively neutral perspective.

"For me, it's just football. And after a couple days, for the kids, it's just going to be football," he said.

About 45 jayvee and varsity players donned their helmets for the first day. It's not an army, but with the combined program, there are at least a few reinforcements.

"You don't have to worry about having to field a team," Herman said. "Last year, there were a couple of times where we were one or two injuries away from having to call up a team and say we couldn't go."

The timing of the merger was especially useful for Rapid River, whose gym and locker rooms are still under renovation. Therefore, the team will go through its initial paces at Mid Pen, including the first home game of the season against Pickford.

Ostrenga thanked Mid Pen for having an "excellent" field available. He said he hasn't noticed any issues with the merger.

"Football is football. I like to work with anybody. It's teaching. Teaching football," he said.

For the players, it's not quite the same. Mid Pen seniors Travis Depuydt and Earl Lancour suited up in their former rivals' colors Monday. Depuydt said, though the two groups have become familiar, the experience was "a little different."

"We've been friends with these guys for a while, but there's still that rivalry and competition. If we didn't know these guys like we do, it would be a lot worse," he said.

In theory, the football team could extend into three counties, spanning a distance from McFarland to Cooks, so players are carpooling quite a bit to absorb travel costs.

There are currently no players from the third district in the co-operative, Big Bay, but Ostrenga said they are still encouraged to play.

Everyone also has to work together to learn the Rapid River offense which, as their t-shirts say, "dabbles in the single wing." Depuydt said the switch hasn't been too tough.

"It's pretty much the same blocking scheme, just different names," he said.

Without a consolidation, Mid Pen would have been forced to start several freshmen to field a team, an unsafe situation. Depuydt said, given the situation, the current arrangement is a good fit.

"We like wearing the orange and white, but we'll get used to it. Playing football at Rapid is better than not playing at all."

New Haven is going old school in 2008...way old school.


New Haven is going old school in 2008...way old school.

The Rockets, under first-year head coach Todd Winters, are abandoning the spread offense that has become extremely popular on the high school and college levels.

Winters made the decision in the off season to switch to the single wing offense, a set that does not feature a quarterback and utilizes direct snaps to one of three running backs with very little passing. The offense is extremely rare and is run by only a handful of teams in the state.

Winters and his coaching staff attended a single wing coaching clinic in Pennsylvania over the summer to get familiar with the ins and outs of the offense.

"We're really excited about what we're doing with this offense," said Winters, who has been an assistant for the last two years. "We're going to be playing a lot of bigger teams with 50 guys on the roster. We felt with our numbers we could be more competitive with an offense that is built around the team concept."

The Rockets will be gunning to return to their winning ways after finishing 4-5 last fall, their first losing season since 2004. The season was especially disappointing with a roster featuring three players that went on to sign with Division I programs.

New Haven, which opens Aug. 29 on the road against Center Line, will rely on the experience of senior fullback/linebacker Chris Hessel (5-11, 215) and senior lineman Quinton Cowart (5-11, 190). The Rockets will compete in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division after three years in the Silver.

"Our regulars have been showing up in the weight room three to four times a week; we should have about 25 guys this year which is up a little bit from last season," Winters said. "We're not very big this year, but we are going to be quick with experience coming back on both sides of the ball."

The Voice
51180 Bedford St.
New Baltimore, MI
New Haven High School
57700 Gratiot Ave
New Haven, MI 48048

Gators May Have Another Single-Wing Back

Notebook: Rains don't deter Gators from making progress

By Edward Aschoff
Special to The Sun

Published: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 2:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 2:59 p.m.
The rains came Thursday, but it didn’t deter UF coach Urban Meyer or his team from getting a lot accomplished at Thursday morning’s practice.

“The negative about this weather, it’s just a pain in the rear end,” Meyer said Thursday. “The positive is we’re getting a lot of throwing and catching and kicking the ball in this weather. We hit two 47s (47-yard field goals) at the end of practice in this weather, so it’s a good sign.”

The last few practices have been interrupted by bad weather, but it has yet to sour the mood of UF’s head coach. He was pleased yet again with the way his team performed and said it seems like every position is beginning to show real signs of improvement each day.

“You can tell from my demeanor right now that we had a heck of a practice,” Meyer said. “That was good stuff today. ... I heard that thunder and said, ‘Here we go again,’ and we jumped right into full-contact team scrimmage situation, third downs and we had two sets scripted and we went six sets and then we went to our two-minute drill.

"Our guys reacted and that’s a good sign. There was not complaining or whining. The defensive ends were getting good pressure.”

With the team only a couple weeks away from the opener against Hawaii, Meyer said he expects to hold the last scrimmage Tuesday, which will center on the Hawaii game plan.

Newton running well

Sophomore quarterback Cameron Newton hasn’t been named second-string quarterback yet, but he could play a huge role in the offense this season.

With Meyer wanting to see Tebow throw more and carry less, he said there’s a chance that Newton could see a lot of action this season as the single-wing back instead of Tebow at times.

“I’ll tell you the one thing Cameron’s doing is running the football really well,” Meyer said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do that (in games). I think he gives us that element because I think he’s a very functional runner and he’s very tight with the ball right now.”

The idea is to use Newton in running situations as opposed to Tebow to limit the number of hits Tebow takes during games.

Kicking battle

One of the forgotten battles at UF’s camp is the battle for No. 1 place-kicker.

Freshman Caleb Sturgis came in the favorite, but senior Jonathan Phillips isn’t making it easy.

“We got a good battle,” Meyer said. “Jonathan Phillips is not giving that thing up. He got accepted to Miami Law School and we had a long discussion and he came back because he wanted a chance to kick at Florida. He’s not done a darn thing yet, but his whole approach to the game has been very impressive.”

Sturgis’ accuracy has been an issue since arriving this spring, but he turned things up during UF’s spring game when he knocked one through from 60 yards – setting a spring-game record.

“I made a comment that when his foot hits the ball it sounds different from most other kickers,” Meyer said of Sturgis. “He hits bombs, but he’s also go to split the uprights with them. There’s a great battle going on over there.”

Meyer excited about special teams

UF ranked seventh nationally and first in the Southeastern Conference in punt returns last season with an average of 15.08 yards per return with two touchdowns and Meyer hopes to increase those numbers.

To do so, Meyer is looking to find more weapons to put on the field.

“We’re really going to work hard on that,” Meyer said. “The good thing is Brandon James is dynamic and there’s a couple guys right behind him. Joe Haden, I watch him catch those punts and he’s going to be a punt returner. We got Joe Haden, we got (Chris) Rainey, (Louis) Murphy’s back there catching punts. We’ve got some guys. I remember my first year we had Vernell (Brown) and me. It wasn’t a good deal.”

Running backs to catch more

Running backs coach Kenny Carter said Thursday that he’s hoping to get more production out of his running backs in the passing game by using more dump off passes if the rest of the field doesn’t open up.

“If it’s not down the field, then you get available underneath,” Carter said. “And if they’re putting their man-to-man against you and they’re trying to match you up then you create separation and you go and you get open. We’re (an) offense that’s based on matchups.”

Meyer said the dump offs make up the “best” part of UF’s passing game. All that he asks is that his runners make some guys miss once they get the ball.

“Our running backs are very productive right now,” he said. “Having a productive running back that can catch the ball and run a route (helps the offense). The reason you haven’t see them in there is because they weren’t productive and they didn’t do their stuff the right way. Our guys are doing a good job with them.”

Two tight ends still possible

Even with the loss of Cornelius Ingram (ACL) for the season UF will still look to fifth-year senior Tate Casey and sophomore Aaron Hernandez to be productive on the field together.

“It’s still there,” tight ends coach John Hevesy said of still using a two tight end set. “The things you get with Tate being that second tight end compared to a CI, you’re dealing with a little bit of a speed difference. In terms of blocking and everything else and assignments, everything’s still there.”


Meyer said junior receiver Percy Harvin didn’t participate in contact drills, but did do some conditioning during practice. He is still unsure of his return. … Freshmen defensive linemen Omar Hunter (back) and Matt Patchan (peck) were held out of team drills again, but did work out individually and Meyer said they are starting to look healthier. … Redshirt senior offensive lineman Jim Tartt (shoulder) went through individual drills and Meyer expects him back healthy in a week. … Redshirt senior offensive lineman Phil Trautwein (shoulder) was limited because Meyer and his staff are being extra cautious, but Meyer said his injury is minor.
The Gainesville Sun

Calvary To Run Single Wing

Already 1-0, Eagles ready for first game


Published: August 15, 2008

Last year Calvary Christian School started its eight-man football program.

Plagued by low numbers and hurt by injuries, the team played a full schedule, but failed to win a game.

That won’t be the case this season. Without even putting on the pads, Calvary is already 1-0 for the year.

“Crossgate out of Hot Springs, closed and we were able to pick up a forfeit win,” said Calvary coach Greg Mills. “But we don’t want to be satisfied with that. We want to win some games on the playing field.”

Calvary returns seven players from last year’s squad, and has added some new faces, including a pair of transfers, Josh Jackson from Lee Academy and Joey Roper from Texas.

The Eagles will host Southwest Christian Academy Monday, Aug. 18 in their season opener at Eagle Field. The game will kickoff at 5 p.m.

The Eagles will dress out 14 players for the game, seventh through 12th grade, and Mills said everyone will play.

“Obviously, some more than others, but we have a couple of seventh graders who will contribute for us this season.”

The Eagles have been on the practice field since mid-July in preparation for Monday’s opener.

“I think we are a much better team this season,” Mills said. “We will score some points, I have no doubt about that. Our problem area will be our tackling, just like last season. It’s hard to work on that with just 14 kids.”

Calvary will run mostly from the Single Wing offensive set, which Mills said “gives the quarterback a lot of options.”

Mills said returning starter Jeremy Barnett and Cody Jackson will be the two key backfield elements this season.

“Both will probably run quarterback and both will line up at tailback,” Mills said. Cody is a little faster and has looked good so far. Jeremy is just a good heads up player.”

Calvary is also fielding an eight-man, elementary flag football team again this season for youths in the third through sixth grade.

The Elementary Eagles will be coached by Joseph Borders and will open the season Monday, Sept. 8.

Before returning to football last season, Calvary played one year of six-man football in 2000.
Calvary Christian School 1611 N Washington St Forrest City, AR 72335

Marshall Academy Switching to the Single-Wing

8/16/2008 8:01:28 AM
Daily Journal

Daily Journal

Marshall Academy
Marshall Academy won't have versatile quarterback Brent Adams to lead them to another Class AA state title game, but second-year coach Keith Wicker thinks his Patriots can still find a way to get there.

Due to personnel, Wicker is switching to the single wing offense, and so far, so good. In place of Adams will be two QBs, senior Hunter Bolden and sophomore Hank Owens. The Patriots also picked up a transfer from DeSoto Central, receiver Josh Vanderburg.

"We can definitely get back there," Wicker said. "Any time you get that far, you've got to have a little luck. Hard work makes luck happen."

Wicker's main concern lies with the defense. In Thursday's jamboree against Indianola (a 12-12 tie) and Lee, Ark. (a 12-6 Marshall win), Wicker didn't like everything he saw.

"We need to be better tacklers. We knew who to cover, where to cover, but we just didn't do some of it," Wicker said. "Our defense hasn't stepped up the intensity they have to play with."

Appeared originally in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 8/16/2008,


Marshall Academy
100 Academy Dr
Holly Springs, MS


Hawks pleased with performance

By Tim Tassa — Daily Staff Writer

There were fumbled snaps; an ample number for head coach Heath Gilbert in his single-wing, shotgun-heavy spread offense — a facet he chastised.

Pass protection was at times dicey in the Hawks' first action against a foe wearing a different shade of blue uniforms and disparate helmets.

But in its scrimmage against Clarke County on Thursday, Skyline proved that — like last season — it has the potential to play quickly and score fast.

Long, crafty runs by four back and backup quarterback Kieren Caison validated the team's speed, and the arm and accuracy of quarterback Nathaniel White was a possible foreshadowing of a future threat in the passing game.

"I really think our skill-level kids are as good as anybody in our league, it's just a matter of us being able to pass protect and give them time," Gilbert said following the scrimmage.

"Kieren stepped right in — he can do a lot of things for us, I think he's an all-district corner and you saw what he can do out there with the ball in his hands. He's an explosive kid; he has great lateral movement, so I look for him [to have] a pretty good season."

Caison scored the Hawks' first touchdown, intercepting a deep pass from Clarke County starter Zach Shiley, and then baffling would-be tacklers on his way to six points.

He added a rushing touchdown during situational drills on an exciting run out of the backfield, and lofted a touchdown on the team's next possession.

"Just get out, get our blocks, get up through the holes and try to make something happen," Caison said of his play-making ability.

"I just try to use my speed; I'm not that big so I just try to get what I get."

Skyline was plagued by four poor snaps over its first 10 plays — each team's offense was allotted 10 plays regardless of down and yardage over four possessions each, then switched to a live format — but managed a pair of touchdown passes during its third series.

White found receiver Andrew Thorne on a bubble screen that went the distance down the right sideline, and connected with receiver Terrell Mathews three plays later on a deep post over a chorus of defenders and receivers.

"We're just working together; we're just going to need to work on some stuff," said White, who showed comfort rolling out and throwing on the run.

"The backs are doing pretty good by switching out."

MAKING PROGRESS: It wasn't until the scrimmage's live-game portion against the Skyline defense, featuring downs and yardage, that the Clarke County offense began executing consistently.

Zach Shiley, who's entrenched in a battle for starting quarterback honors with Vernon Mathews and Grant Shaw, worked with the first team Thursday, leading back-to-back scoring drives on the Eagles' final two possessions.

Clarke County was methodical in that span, using short passes and quarterback options out of the shotgun and converting short third-down and fourth-down plays.

"I think we have a lot to work on; Skyline's a very good team, they're very athletic, they're probably faster than we were today. But we did some good things," Clarke County head coach Chris Parker said.

"I was proud of our guys when we went to down and distance, we actually did better. We didn't give up, we kept plugging and when we scored there we were going on all cylinders and I was happy about that."

Though Clarke County lacked the big plays executed by their Front Royal counterparts, their effort on offense, which included modest gains on the ground and a steady dose of slant and out routes directed towards Shaw, produced a pair of goal-line touchdowns.

Sam Shiley raced in for the team's second score out of the "gun."

"We did some good things and I'm sure the film is going to show that," Parker said.

"To me it's a practice, that's not taking anything away from Skyline, they're very good — well coached. But the eye in the sky is going to tell us."

The Eagles were without last season's leading tackler and running back, Jeremy Rhoads, who suffered a broken hand earlier in camp.

Parker said he didn't know if Rhoads would be back for the opener against James Wood on Aug. 29.

BIGGER IS BETTER: When asked the average weight of last season's offensive line, head coach Tony Tallent earlier this season joked "125 pounds."

"All in jest, obviously," he added.

But as his first year at the helm of Warren County's football program concluded on Aug. 1 with the issuing of equipment, Tallent was able to state his line's size as close to 230 pounds this year.
"People ask what the difference is: last year we were playing freshmen and sophomores, this year we're playing with sophomores, a few more juniors and seniors that have come out," Tallent said.

"We feel that our weight program has made our kids stronger, that's thanks to our administration for putting in classes where we can get these kids stronger."

A year hasn't made just a difference in size, but overall numbers, as well. Tallent said there are 66 total players spanning the varsity and eighth-, ninth- and 10th-grade teams, compared to just 50 last year. And the Wildcats boast 17 seniors to last year's five (they added five last season after camp).

In addition, during the team's picture day on Wednesday, Tallent had difficulty recalling every player in the mix at the tailback position; a good problem to have, he said.

"Last year," Tallent said, "I could've named everyone of them we had in the first 30 seconds."

Tallent noted Austin Schwarz as the team's quarterback, with Marty Haley, Gage Steele and Damien Caison manning the running back duties, thus far.

He praised the hard work of the offensive line, particularly tackle Justin Ernst, guard Cameron Stewart and center A.J. Lockhart.

Defensively, Warren County keeps its entire secondary from last season intact, with Japeth Chunn and Sean Newman on the outside and James Baude the free safety.

NEXT IN LINE: While Colton Koontz, Dylan Dawson and Jordan Laughlin all vie to replace Hunter Stout's carries for Stonewall Jackson, a less obvious but equally important change will have to be made on the offensive line. Tackle Nate Beall was the man paving the way for Stonewall's most successful runs last season, but has since graduated.

"He was the go-to guy when we needed a touchdown," junior quarterback Dylan Dawson said. We put the ball behind him. I believe now we're going to have it more spread out. We can run both ways. We could last year, but everybody knew when it came down to crunch time, we were going to run behind Nate Beall."

Dacota Grady, listed on last year's roster at 6-foot-2, 197 pounds, is nursing a groin injury, but will likely take over Beall's tackle spot next to senior guard Lonnie Phillips.

"He's a fairly decent athlete, so it's a good start," Stonewall coach Dick Krol said. "He'll not replace Nate, but with him and Phillips next to each other, they can be a good tandem for us."

Dawson and Krol both mentioned that the Generals would be a small team this season, and losing Beall certainly contributes to that. Krol said that the few players of superior size he does have are not as motivated as his smaller ones, and therefore unlikely to contribute.

"They're going to end up sitting on the bench, and that looks sort of bad when you've got a 250-pound kid sitting on the bench and you've got a 140-pound tackle playing for you," Krol said. "But that's exactly how it's going to look like."

Krol added that his team doesn't appear to have a "beast" this year, someone who possesses a nasty streak and is also physically imposing.

"I'll be honest with you, I don't know that we have a beast," he said. "Dawson, he's as close to one, but he's not a beast — he's too nice a kid."

Players who've fit that role included running back Aaron Carter last year and Richard Long, a linebacker and running back, before him.

"Richard was a nice guy, but he was a beast when he got on the football field," Krol said. "Which is fine with me."

Long, now on scholarship at Appalachian State after joining the team as a preferred walk-on as a freshman a year ago, is a second-team linebacker for the three-time defending national champion Mountaineers.
The Northern Virginia Daily 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657
Skyline High School 151 Skyline Vista Front Royal, VA 22630

Williams making no changes to Giles tradition

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PEARISBURG, Va. — The head football coach at Giles has changed. Everything else has remained the same.

Jeff Williams won’t have it any other way.

“We don’t want to change anything, what Coach (Steve) Ragsdale has established here is proven,” said Williams, who replaced Ragsdale as head coach of the Spartans after last season. “It works and it is successful and we pretty much told them, ‘Boys, no radical changes.’”

Ragsdale is a legend in Giles County, leading the Spartans to numerous district and regional titles and a trio of state championships. Williams knows he’s following in a huge shadow.

“Really I am, what Coach Ragsdale has done, not just for the football program, but for this school and this community is overwhelming,” said Williams, a 14-year assistant under Ragsdale at Giles, who spent the previous five years working with Don Lowe at Narrows. “What he has accomplished over 30 years of coaching, and now me being the head football coach, I am stepping into some big shoes. That’s expected.”

Williams figured Ragsdale would be around for a while longer until he was approached one day with a question.

“It was a surprise that it came this early,” Williams said. “We were hoping he could go at least five more years, but he just came up to me one day and asked me if I would be interested in the job and I told him ‘Yeah, sure.’”

Not only did Ragsdale depart, but so did long-time assistants Rusty Kelly and Jack Ellison, not to mention 23 seniors off last year’s team that finished 10-2, losing to George Wythe in the Region C title game.

“We are a young football team, we’re real thin,” said Williams, whose Spartans open the season on Aug. 29 at Blacksburg. “We’ve got 25 kids on the roster, we’ve got two starters on offense and two starters on defense returning from last year and that’s between three kids...We’ve got 11 that return from the actual roster last year.”

Williams has been a part of Giles High School for most of his life. He played for Ragsdale with the Spartans, and was a walk-on at Virginia Tech, playing three years under Bill Dooley and the first season under current mentor Frank Beamer.

“It was just exciting, Tech football hadn’t really taken off has now, but you could tell when Coach Beamer came in that he had a strong vision” said Williams, who was a free safety with the Hokies after playing all three running back positions for Giles. “He had his goals set and what he wanted to accomplish and he got them and right now they’re one of the top football teams in the country.

“He always talked about great things and it kind of worked out really good. I’m glad the school hung in there with him when times were tough so he could get where he wanted to be.”

Even when Williams played at Giles, the Spartans ran Ragsdale’s favored single wing offense. Making the adjustment to college ball wasn’t difficult since he was on the other side of the ball.

“I was on the defensive side of the ball so it wasn’t a big difference, I was probably one of the smallest guys and slowest guys on the team,” said Williams, who, not surprisingly, plans to keep the current system in place. “It was fun, I was a walk-on, I think I might have played in three plays my whole career there.

“In Beamer’s last year I was on the traveling squad so it was real fun and exciting just to be a part of something that is really so big and huge now.”

That’s been much the same at Giles. The Spartans have been a winning machine, claiming at least four straight Three Rivers District titles, along with three consecutive Region C crowns before falling in overtime to the Maroons last year. Giles won state titles in 1980, 1993 and 2005.

Williams isn’t going to guarantee that type of continued success, only that the Giles will still play Spartan football.

“I have no idea, right now we’re just looking ahead to Blacksburg and game one and we’ll take it one week at a time,” said Williams, who does return Cody Journell, an all-around player who has verbally committed to Virginia Tech as a kicker. “I’m not big on setting goals.

“What I like to do is look to the week ahead that is coming up and just work on that week and just go from there.”

Being a head coach has definitely been an eye-opener for Williams, whose second cousin is ultra-successful Richlands coach Greg Mance. In fact, Mance’s wife, Ann, and Williams’s wife are sisters.

“It’s a lot more work involved,” said Williams, whose previous head coaching experience was with the varsity boys track team. “Usually as an assistant coach you don’t have to do a lot of thinking about things and schemes.

“You’re concentrating on one area, but as a head coach, you’re just overwhelmed with everything and there is a lot of things going on.”

Williams has prepared for this moment for much of the last two decades. He’s still a great admirer of Ragsdale, and that won’t ever change.

“I’m a prodigy of Coach Ragsdale,” Williams said. “I really believe in the way he did things and how he did things and I think of all the things he did and I truly believe in him.

“I think that is probably the key. He is such a great coach and I think I am just fortunate enough having worked under him for so many years.”

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
928 Bluefield Ave, Bluefield, West Virginia
Giles High School 1825 Wenonah AvenuePearisburg VA 24134

Beavers, Tigers ready to tackle someone else

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Even though the Bluefield Beavers are defending state champions for the ninth time in school history, there are plenty of shoes to fill as the 2008 season begins.

Marcus Patterson is ready to do his part. He figures his teammates will do the same, including quarterback Will Cole, linebacker/fullback Jake Lilly and running back Donte’ Baker.

“I pretty much have to step up,” said Patterson, a junior receiver and defensive back for the Beavers. “We lost our wide receiver, Ansel (Ponder), and we lost Shaun (Brooks) so somebody has to step up and take these plays.

“I think Will and Jake and Donte’ are going to help me. Everybody has got to do it.”

Patterson’s talents were on display on Saturday during Bluefield’s first scrimmage, a three-hour session against Nitro. All Patterson did was score four of the Beavers’ six touchdowns, three on scoring receptions from Cole and another on a 90-yard interception return.

“He’s something else,” Bluefield head coach Fred Simon said. “He’s a great kid, along with a lot of the others. They’ve all worked hard and just hopefully good things will happen for them.”

While Bluefield outscored Nitro six touchdowns to three, Princeton welcomed Giles and Liberty-Raleigh to Hunnicutt Stadium on Saturday, with the Tigers and Spartans playing to a 7-7 deadlock.

“I thought for the first scrimmage that offensively we moved the ball pretty decent,” said Princeton head coach Ted Spadaro, whose Tigers had to face the Spartans’ single wing offense. “Defensively we’ve got to make some changes in there because what makes it look bad is you’re running against the single wing which we never play against so that makes it look bad.

“All in all, there are a few things on offense that we have to correct and several things on defense.”

Bluefield, which is coming off a 13-0 campaign that included the Class AA state title, lost numerous seniors, including Ponder and Brooks, who have continued their career at the next level. Yet, Simon knows that’s part of high school football.

“We lost some real good seniors, leadership-wise and everything and I really appreciate the job they did for us last year,” said Simon, whose Beavers open the season on Aug. 29 against Graham. “Unfortunately they’re gone and some new guys are going to have to step in and hopefully that is what is going to happen.”

Among Cole’s trio of scoring tosses was a nifty one-handed catch by Patterson, who also managed to stay inbounds to record the score. A few minutes later he stepped in front of a pass and sped 90 yards for another touchdown.

“Will did a good job at quarterback putting it on the outside of my shoulder like he’s supposed to and we got a touchdown with it,” said Patterson, who added about the pick, “All I did was read the wide receiver’s eyes and I could tell what it was so I took advantage of it.”

Alex Morris and C.J. Manns also ran for scores. Nitro led 2-1 in touchdowns early, but the Beavers rolled off four straight as Bluefield welcomed the opportunity to play someone other than themselves.

“We did good, we’ve got to get ready for Graham and this is going to make us more ready, said Patterson, a two-time All-Class AA performer. “This shows what you can actually do and they can’t read all the plays.”

Several other Beavers showed potential, including Baker, Trey Williams and Byron Steptoe out of the backfield, and defensive standouts included Keith Ferguson. John Gibson and Lilly.

“It’s like it always is, there will be some bright spots from players and some stuff we’ve got to work on,” Simon said. “Overall, we’ll look at film and see how it went, but I’m just happy to get back out here.

“We’re tired of hitting each other and practicing the same old same old every day....They get tired of the same old routine all the time, but overall they have a good attitude and hopefully it will continue to get better.”

Princeton scored early against Giles on a scoring run by sophomore Tevin Allen, who is expected to only get better for the Tigers.

“He’s bigger, faster and stronger and he’s got that year of experience and that is going to make a big difference for him,” Spadaro said.

Giles answered with a Justin Gautier touchdown plunge. Cody Journell, who has verbally committed to Virginia Tech as a kicker, made the extra point.

“As I said, this is our first scrimmage so we’re looking forward to correcting all those next week and look better down at Charleston.” said Spadaro, whose Tigers will play Parkersburg and South Charleston in next week’s MSAC scrimmage at Laidley Field.

Princeton, which has a bye on the opening Friday for a third straight year, won’t play until Sept. 5 at Bluefield.

“Now we can have an evaluation here Saturday night and Sunday at a coaches meeting, whereas we’ve got that open date and we can’t evaluate and you have to do the best you can with that,” Spadaro said.

Bluefield, which will travel to Liberty-Harrison for a final scrimmage next Thursday in Clarksburg, has made it a habit of scrimmaging Nitro in recent seasons. For good reason.

“They’re always good, they’ve got some good skill people,” Simon said. “This is what scrimmages are for is to see where we need to improve.”

The Beavers normally open with Graham, but that won’t happen this season. At least for Graham, that’s the first time since 1985.

“I’d like to open up with them, but there’s nothing we can do about it so we’re not worried,” Simon said. “We’ll just keep getting better and go on.”

Simon, who has compiled a 164-92 record since taking over for John Chmara in 1986, is glad to be back on the gridiron.

“I’m excited with our players,” said Simon, who is one of just three head coaches at Bluefield since 1959, following Merrill Gainer and Chmara. “I’m excited because we have worked hard and that’s why we coach, because we love to do it and I’m excited with this bunch.”

The players feel much the same. Patterson likes the feeling of being a state champion.

“I love it,” he said, “and we’re going to try and do it again.”

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
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