Augsut 31, 2006
SCR-I Seniors Seeking Return Trip To State Football Playoffs
There will be plenty of new looks in 2006 for the Scotland County football team, but Coach Brent Bondurant will have lots of familiar faces around to implement the new offensive scheme as the Tigers charge into a new-look district that will include Marceline, Putnam County and Milan.
“We should be exciting to watch this year as we are going to spread the offense and play a wide-open style,” Bondurant said. “We have a lot of experience to draw upon. This will be a senior-oriented team.”
The Tigers will feature 12 seniors on the 2006 squad, with 11 of those 12 starting on offense with the 12th playing key sub roles at a number of spots.
All-conference performers Lance Smith and Casey Parrish will return to anchor the offensive line. Parrish will handle the snaps at center while Smith will fill one tackle position opposite Beau Becraft. Colby Brown will move in from tight end to play guard across from Kolby Peterson.
“This group has looked good in practice,” Bondurant said. “Smith came into camp in great shape and Peterson has been a pleasant surprise earning a starting spot both ways. Brown also has been impressive and has been one of our better blockers in practice despite the position change.”
The offensive line will be key in the success of the Tigers in 2006 as it will have to protect quarterback Marcus Shalley who will be running the SCR-I offense out of the shotgun.
In his second season as a starter in 2005 Shalley completed 52 of 154 pass attempts for 654 yards and nine touchdowns to just three interceptions. He also averaged more than four yards a carry rushing the ball.
He has some talented targets to spread the ball amongst led by All-Conference receiver Matt Wickert. Despite missing all but the last three games of the year with a broken collarbone, Wickert led the Tigers with six receiving touchdowns and 185 yards on just 10 grabs. Shalley will return the team’s leading receiver in Bryce Blomme along with the versatile Grant Blomme who played both receiver and running back in 2005 along with fellow senior Justin Williams.
Zach McBee will step into the shoes left by the departure of graduate B.J. Houghton. Houghton carried the ball 114 times for 585 yards and four TDs in 2005. McBee carried the ball 43 times for 236 yards and three TDs before getting shut down with an injury.
McBee missed most of the year with a separated shoulder, but Bondurant is obviously excited about putting the senior’s skill sets to work in the new offense.
“While this is a passing offense, the wide open sets are going to give us a lot of options to run the ball as well,” Bondurant said. “We should get a lot of big holes and we expect Zach and Marcus to take advantage of the opportunities to pick up some big plays.”
While the team hopes to put up some big numbers of offense, the defense also will be drawing upon that senior talent. The lone underclassman expected to start on defense will be sophomore Bradley Hamner who will take over for Houghton at linebacker.
The line will feature Brown and Smith at ends with Becraft and Peterson clogging up the middle. The linebacker crew will have Hamner and Shalley on the inside with Parrish and Wickert bringing the heat from the outside. The defensive backfield will have Williams and Grant Blomme at the corners with Bryce Blomme at safety.
Andy Cowell will see time at linebacker with Aaron Neagle looking to be the sixth man on the offensive and defensive lines. Junior Eric Glass will see time as McBee’s back-up at running back. A number of other young players are working their way into contention for back-up rolls but Bondurant noted that depth isn’t the team’s strength with just 30 players out for the squad.
The coach said the early schedule will be crucial for SCR-I’s 2006 success.
“We open up against Salisbury, which is annually a top 10 team, so we will get a chance right away to see what we are made of,” Bondurant said. “With the district change, the schedule is flip-flopped so we will be taking on what used to be our district opponents in the first few weeks. Early success would be a big confidence builder for this squad.
SCR-I travels to Salisbury September 1st and then will host Knox County in the annual “Clyde” trophy game on September 8th in Memphis for the home opener. After traveling to Schuyler County (which moved up to Class 3 this season) and hosting North Shelby, the Tigers will host Fayette, a new addition to the schedule on September 29.
October will open at Clark County before the Tigers host Brookfield, a final tune-up before districts. SCR-I will open district play at Putnam County on October 20 and then will follow that up with a road trip to Milan before ending the regular season at home against Marceline.
“I think this group expects good things in 2006,” Bondurant said. “These seniors have been leaders all winter and summer in the weight room. They have worked hard and put forth the effort that has resulted in them expecting big things from themselves and each other.”