August 20, 2009
Tigers Hoping Backfield Shakeup Leads to Improvement on Football Field
After a disappointing 2008 season it was back to the drawing board for the Scotland County football team and Coach Brent Bondurant and the Tigers hope a new look attack in 2009 will help SCR-I make a climb in the standings.
The young Tigers squad will look to improve on a 1-9 mark a year ago behind the leadership of its four returning seniors.
“A lot of these kids saw varsity time last year as freshmen and sophomores, so while we are young we do have some experience coming back,” said coach Bondurant.
Kyle Shelley, who took most of the teams snaps at quarterback as a junior will be switching to fullback this year in hopes of sparking a rushing attack that was limited the year before. Graduate Caleb Kittle led SCR-I with 355 yards rushing and two TDs. Shelley ran the ball 77 times for 287 yards a pair of TDs.
Senior Brandon Garnett will return as one of the teams leading receiving threats. He caught eight passes for 99 yards and a TD.
Fellow upperclassmen Justin Winn and Jordan Fulk will be key players on both sides of the ball in the trenches.
Bondurant said the development of the offensive line will be a key to success of the 09 Tigers. The team will have to replace graduates Bradley Hamner and Aaron Neagle.
One of those spots will be filled by junior Logan Brassfield who will move back to the line after playing fullback in 2008.
Candidates for the other two starting spots include juniors Will See, Andy Garrett and Chris Doubet, and sophomores like Taylor Rader, Will Masden, Tyler Eggers and Ben Shannon.
Junior Sabe Sears likely will get the nod at quarterback. He saw some time as the team’s signal caller last year, including completing three of five passes for 78 yards and TD against Knox County late in the year.
Sabe could also see time at the tailback slot along with cousin Rodney Sears. The later heads into the season atop the team’s debt chart at the key position after carrying the ball 33 times for 118 yards in 2008.
“We have some guys who can carry the ball, it is just going to be a matter of making some holes for them,” Bondurant said.
Sophomore Brock Bondurant, who missed most of last year with a broken thumb, gives the team a second option at the quarterback spot.
Whoever is making the throws will have a number of new faces to work with in the receiving core. Joining Garnett at the position will be newcomer, junior Dakota Wells. Sophomore Drew Miller saw varsity action in 2008 as a freshman and will likely be a starter in 09.
Sophomore Harley Stone returns as the team’s starting tightend and is expected to play a bigger role in the passing game in 2009.
“We are hoping our passing game will feed off the rushing attack,” coach Bondurant said. “Once we get the ground game rolling it will open up air attack through play-action.”
The Tigers played far better on the other side of the ball last year, and the coaching staff believes the defensive unit can be even better this year.
Shelley earned all-conference honors at linebacker and will return to lead the attack in the middle. He recorded 89 tackles last season. He will be joined in the middle by Brassfield with Stone manning the outside linebacker spot. Both players started in those roles last season.
Fulk, Winn, See and Garrett likely will get the nod as the starting defensive line with Shannan and Eggers rotating at defensive end.
Bondurant and Garnett will likely be the starting safeties while Miller, S. Sears and R. Sears will handle the two cornerback jobs.
The Tigers will participate in the practice jamboree at Monroe City on Friday night starting at 7:00 p.m.
The regular season kicks off Friday, August 28th when Salisbury comes to Memphis.