August 23, 2012

Tiger Football Team Begins New Coaching Era With Youth Movement

First-year coach Daniel Burns has his work cut out for him in 2012 when he takes over the reins of the Scotland County football program.

After making a return to the state playoffs in 2011, the Tigers by most accounts will be rebuilding in 2012, returning just four starters.

Burns sees some advantages to inheriting a young team, giving the kids a chance to play together and become a team over the next few years as they grow and improve.

Scotland County will have a new look on offense, switching to a run and shoot offense that is expected to give opposing defenses many different formations to try and defend.

Cordie Kigar has been called upon to replace Brock Bondurant at quarterback. The junior, in just his second year in the program, will transition from wide receiver.

He'll have pair of new targets as SCR-I graduate its top two receivers in Harley Stone and Drew Miller.

Fellow junior Brice Cowell, in his first year in football, is expected to be a leading receiver in 2012 along with freshman Caleb Doubet.

The backfield will also have a new look as sophomore Will McRobert will move from tailback to fullback. He'll be the lead blocker for featured back Zach Miller, when he returns in week three for the Tigers. The senior currently is completing Basic Training as a member of the National Guard.

Burns said the team will count on Miller to create problems for the opposing defenses with his speed and athleticism, taking over for graduate Laden Holt.

Up front, the Tigers return a pair of starters on the offensive line in senior Monte Sally and junior Jed Troutman. The squad took a key blow when two would- be starters were lost for the year to disciplinary issues.

Sophomores Tyler Buford, Bailey Johnston and Tristen Hilpert will all be in the mix on the offensive line along with senior Matt Robbins. They will look to fill the shoes of graduates Christian Bradley, Ben Shannan and Taylor Rader..

Senior Austin Smith missed all last season with an injury suffered in the pre-season jamboree. He's back and will factor into the backfield equation with Miller and McRobert. Sophomore Mason Van Hoozen and freshmen Jade Holt and Brendan Orton and sophomore Jacob Blessing, junior Chris Jackson and senior Cameron Harrison will all share time in the backfield and the slot and receiver positions.

With just two dozen players out in 2012, many of the same faces will be filling key rolls on defense.

McRobert will start at one of the linebacker spots in Coach Burns's new 4-2-5 look. Jackson, who saw time at defensive back last season, could fit in the linebacker mix along with Smith.

Miller and Kigar will be in the defensive backfield along with a combination of new faces, filling the shoes of Bondurant, Laden Holt and Drew Miller.

Sally and Troutman, last year's leading tackler, will be back to anchor the defensive line. Freshman Jacob Holt will get a chance to start at the nose guard position. Burns will have to replace three starters in graduates William Masden, Bradley and Rader.

Scotland County finished 5-6 last year, but went 3-0 down the stretch to claim the district title before bowing out 29-20 to Louisiana in the state playoffs.

The Tigers will face a tough challenge right out of the gates, traveling to perennial playoff contender Salisbury on August 24th.

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