August 30, 2001

Tigers Football Team To Open Season August 31 In Memphis

The 2001 edition of the Scotland County varsity football team will live and die by the play of the offensive line. The Tigers return three starters to the squad that blocked for an impressive ground attack in 2000 that racked up 2,311 yards rushing to go along with 27 touchdowns on the ground.

The squad returns all-conference performer Jason Glass along with a healthy Robbie Miller. The later played much of last season with one arm in a cast after a pre-season injury. Michael Lodewegen was a part-time starter and will be called upon for full-time service this year. Coach Dave Shalley will use a mix of Brett Masden, Brian Harvey, Josh Marlowe and David Hillyer to fill the remaining two spots.

Shalley said the group will have to step up its play after a poor showing at the pre-season jamboree held at Monroe City August 24. He noted the blocking left something to desire in the pre-season scrimmage and added that he expects the level of play to pick up once the season gets underway Friday when the Tigers host Salisbury in the season opener.

Shalley said the same group of seven likely will see the bulk of the duty on the other side of the ball on the defensive line. Miller was an all-conference performer at defensive end. Sophomore Joel Myers looks like the starter at the other end moving Lodwegen into the mix for the down linemen with Harvey, Masden and Hillyer.

While the line play will be crucial, the team has some questions to fill at the skill positions as well.

The team returns just two starters to fuel the offense. Quarterback Aarron Holt is returning to lead the offense. He completed 43 of 109 pass attempts for 481 yards. But the team had just one touchdown pass, a number that will need to increase in 2001.

Aarron Holt will have to find a new favorite target to replace Josh Holt. He led the squad last year with 18 catches for 272 yards. Stott was the second leading receiver with eight catches for 90 yards and likely will step up to fill the number one role. Curtis Cochran caught six passes for 36 yards to give Holt another experienced target. Brooks Small is expected to step into the tight end slot and should give the team a quality pass receiver from the position. Chase Moore is expected to figure into the receiver mix as well but has been battling a leg injury and has been unable to practice up to this point.

The ground game is the area of biggest turnover. Gone is all-conference tailback Brett Blomme who took with him his team leading 1,252 yards and 16 touchdowns. The team also lost Daniel Myers and Chris Talbert from the backfield mix.

Jeff McBee likely will take over at tailback. He had 144 yards on 19 carries last season. Jared Talbert will fill the fullback spot after gaining 161 yards on 27 carries last season. He also had three touchdowns. Also figuring into the backfield plans will be sophomores Aaron Dale and Joel Myers.

While there were many vacancies created by graduation coach Shalley said he felt comfortable about the players stepping in to fill the holes.

He noted that Aarron Holt will figure into a talented pool of quarterbacks in the Tri-Rivers Conference, with nearly every team bringing back its starter headed by Schuyler County's Josh Oliver and Putnam County's Ian Gilworth.

Those two teams along with the ever-present Brookfield squad likely will vie for the top spot in the conference. Milan is returning its starting quarterback after missing last season so they will be looking to move up the standings as will Clark County and Knox County.

The Tigers will need several new starters to step up play on defense, the team's trademark in 2000 to help move SCR-I up the standings.

A talented linebacker tandem will lead the way as both Talbert and McBee return after being among the team leaders in tackles last year. Fellow running back Aaron Dale also will likely start at linebacker.

The defensive backfield will return only one starter, Stott, at cornerback. Shalley anticipates Small and Aaron Holt filling the other corner and safety positions with Moore and Tim Buford also likely to see playing time at the spots.

The Tigers will open the season August 31 in Memphis when they host Salisbury.

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