August 25, 2011

Senior Laden Football Squad Seeking Another State Playoff Run

With one of his most experienced returning team in years, Coach Brent Bondurant definitely is looking at the 2011 season as a glass more than half full. It would be easy to see it the other way, knowing the team will have to replace its top two players on offense from last year. But with eight seniors returning for the upcoming campaign, spirits are high in Tiger camp.

"This is definitely the most seniors we have had in quite a while," Bondurant stated. "With seven seniors starting on offense, we're confident we can get the job done."

Getting the job done in 2011 will likely mean throwing the ball far more frequently.

"With the personnel we have on offense, we are going to put the ball in the air a lot more," Bondurant stated.

That means the team will lean on quarterback Brock Bondurant as well as wide receivers Harley Stone and Drew Miller to make up some of the yards lost with the graduation of Sabe and Rodney Sears. The cousins accounted for more than 2,000 total yards and 28 touchdowns in 2010.

Bondurant completed 50 of 121 passes in 2010 as a junior, throwing three touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Stone was the squad's leading receiver. He had 25 receptions for 303 yards and two TDs. Miller had five grabs for 73 yards.

While the team was predominantly run oriented in 2010, racking up 2,434 yards on the ground compared to 622 yards through the air, those numbers should be more balanced in 2011.

"We want to be more versatile this year," coach Bondurant said. "That means keeping the opposing defenses on their toes not knowing if we are going to run or throw."

Mix in plans for lots of different formations and plenty of misdirection plays and the Tigers hope to keep opponents guessing all season long.

That means any of six players lining up on offense could be getting the ball on any given play.

The team will turn to freshman William McRobert to take over at tailback. Senior Laden Holt will start at one slot position, with junior Zach Miller and sophomore Cordie Kigar seeing time at the other spot.

"Any of those four guys can have their number called for running plays," coach Bondurant said. "Plus our quarterback will also be a key weapon in the running game as well."

Those rushers will be picking up yards behind the blocking of a veteran offensive line. Seniors Christian Bradley, Ben Shannan and Taylar Rader will anchor the line. Junior Michael Yarbrough and sophomore Jed Troutman will replace graduates Will See and Andy Garrett.

On the other side of the ball, the team will also be featuring a new look. The team has switched from a four man front in 2010, to three down defensive linemen in 2011.

Senior William Masden will be the key. The senior nose tackle was praised by coach Bondurant for his hard work and for coming into camp in his best playing shape of his four years.

"He is going to be the key," coach Bondurant said. "It is going to take at least two blockers to move him out of there, so he is going to make it tough for other teams to run up the middle."

Flanking Masden will be Rader and junior Monte Sally.

"Rader has been a pleasant surprise," his coach said. "He has really stepped up his level of play in practice. Sally is a big kid with a huge motor that is going to wear out the other teams."

SCR-I will feature five linebackers. Troutman, Shannan and Stone will play the traditional backer spots with Bondurant and a combination of Matt Robbins, Austin Smith and McRobert manning the two outside spots traditionally held by the defensive ends.

"We switched to this defense in 2011 because we felt like we had plenty of depth at linebacker," said coach Bondurant.

The defensive backfield will feature Holt and Miller at the corners with Kigar and Chris Jackson likely holding down the safety position.

The Tigers will kickoff the 2011 campaign on Friday, August 26th at home versus Salisbury.

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