This weekly feature offers a few notes from The Robesonian sports staff on the state of various Robeson County high school football teams as they prepare for their season openers on Friday. A special section previewing the season for all teams is planned for Thursday.
Coach Mike Setzer said Friday that his team is doing well with their new defensive system, which will be more aggressive and deceptive that what they’ve shown in the past. He said the players are “buying in” but are still learning it, working to “turn the puzzle pieces into the full picture.”
During practice Wednesday the Golden Tornadoes spent most of their time walking through various situations in preparation for the Battle of the Carolinas football classic. The defensive backs practiced form tackling, with Coach Mark Heil pleading for them to “thud.” Defensively, the Golden Tornadoes have made great strides this summer in preparation for the season. The team showed glimpses of that improvement in its 16-15 win over Lake View on Thursday.
The Mustangs participated in two scrimmages this week in preparation for the start of the season Friday. The team traveled to East Montgomery on Tuesday and Coach Jernigan was pleased with his team’s performance. But the fatigue showed on Wednesday as the Mustangs struggled to find consistency against Westover and Word of God Christian Academy.
The young Rams had their share of ups and downs this week. On Tuesday, the team’s scrimmage against E.E. Smith was cut short after Ethan Chavis suffered a stinger when he was hit on a short run. It was a scary few moments on the field, but Malcolm Locklear gathered the team together for some words of encouragement. It was a great display of leadership from one of the few seniors on the young team.
Coach Trey Sasser said Friday that his offensive line has been gelling well after working hard all summer. The young line has no seniors starting. He said a key will be for them to get up to speed on what each of the other guys can do, so that they work better together.
Coach Ron Cook said Friday that his team, already recognized for their strength, has spent substantial time in the weight room and he sees it paying off as the season is about to begin. Cook said this is a much stronger squad. That strength and speed were clear during this week’s scrimmage, when the Red Devils had seven different players score.