Junior Warriors ironing out final plans for 2003 season
By Michelle Prater
Happy Valley Middle football team is anticipating the upcoming season to be both a learning experience and successful season.
Head Coach Alex Payne has been filling holes here and there to perfect his team.
"We've had kids get out, and we've had kids that just decided to play," said Payne. "We're trying to put a few more in."
With Tyler Blevins starting as quarterback, Happy Valley has the basics worked out.
The Junior Warriors are currently tossing around several options for starting running backs.
"We're still kind of up in the air as far as running backs go," said Payne. "We're running three or four right now."
With a team of around 25 players, some position shuffling was bound to occur.
"We've been up to the forties in the last couple years," said Payne. "We had a small class, and lost a lot of kids. We've got a lot of holes to fill."
The team still had two slots yesterday that were completely undecided, but will have to be chosen quickly since their first game is tonight at Unaka.
Currently playing as running backs are Jesse Richardson, Garick Dykes and Anthony Hollyfield. Caleb Johnson, a starting tight end who will be playing both sides of the ball, and also getting time as a running back.
"We'll be moving him [Johnson] around, trying to get the ball in his hands in two or three different places," said Payne.
Starting on offense for Happy Valley will be David Frazier as the center, and Zeke Cornett and Adam Buck flanking him as guards.
The team wants to improve its offense this year.
"We hope we'll be able to throw the football more," Payne said.
On the defensive side are Richardson and Johnson helping on the other side of the ball, as well as Jared Cline. Blake Duvall will be joining Johnson at the other tight end position.
Payne credits his coaching staff for all the help which makes the team able to be what it is. Josh Wandell coaches offense, helping the running backs and line backs. Jason Jarrett is in charge of wide receivers and secondary players. Andy Hilton works with the ends and special teams.
"I've got a really solid staff," Payne says. "We've been together for a couple of years."