Tribe caps May session with Thursday scrimmage

Published 11:00am Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WHS Spring Football Practice

An Indians quarterback looks for a throwing lane against an attacking group of defenders.
An Indians quarterback looks for a throwing lane against an attacking group of defenders.

There’s an added hop to the steps of the Wetumpka football team as spring practices near their end.

“I can’t say enough about the leadership of our (rising) seniors. They are more confident and more comfortable in the system and that’s been a tremendous help,” said Tim Perry, entering his second season as coach of the Indians. “And their’s a continuity among the coaching staff that has made a great difference, too. Everybody is on the same page, and we are taking strides in the right direction.”

That direction will lead the Indians into Hohenberg Field for Thursday night’s annual Black and Gold Game beginning at 6:30.

“Playing a scrimmage, versus playing an opponent will be a year-to-year decision,” Perry said. “Since we are still learning the system, I didn’t want us to have the pressure of gameplanning an opponent. I wanted to use this spring as a chance to focus on ourselves and have a clear understanding of what we are doing.”

Perry said the scrimmage will be situational with the Indians taking the field in various scenarios ranging from coming out of the end zone to driving into the red zone and tackling a 2-minute drill.

While scrimmages tend to favor the offenses, there will be a scoring system in place for the defense.

“I think that will make it a little more fun,” said Perry. “The defense will get points for fourth down stops, sacks and turnovers. I think it will make the game just that much more competitive.”

Perry and his coaching staff have spent the spring period shuffling players into different positions, primarily the rising freshmen and sophomores (current eighth and ninth graders).

“That’s a tough time for some of the young guys, making that transition,” said Perry. “I’m excited about them and the prospects that they are going to bring to the team.”

Some of the player shuffling has come on the offensive and defensive fronts.

Christian Williams, who had stints at guard and tackle in the fall, has been working at center this spring. Demarcus Hutchinson, who played tackle in the fall has moved over to defensive end.

“He’s playing with a lot more confidence,” said Perry. “That’s been a big plus for us. I’m really pleased with the offensive line with the way they’ve progressed. OJ (Jackson) has really stepped up and become a leader and that’s great to see.”

Perry also praised the work of quarterback Sammy Britton.

“It’s his second year in the system and he’s becoming more comfortable and understanding things better,” said Perry. “He’s worked extremely hard in the offseason to get ready for this year. We opened the weight rooms on Saturday mornings in the offseason, and I’m proud of the way our guys took advantage of it and worked in the offseason.”

The sweat equity has paid off as the Tribe took the field stronger than they were a year ago.

“I’m pleased with the progress each player has made,” said Perry.

But the players aren’t the only reason for the Tribe’s spring success. This is Perry’s first spring session with his coaching staff.

“It’s night and day compared to last year,” said Perry. “There was continuity on the defensive side of the ball last year because there were still some coaches from Coach (Chad) Anderson’s staff that stayed on.

“Offensively, though, it was tough because even though we ran the spread, it was a different spread and it had different terminology and alignments. And even the way we practiced was different. But now, we are all on the same page. Everybody has been through a season together and the coaches know what their assignments are and what we are trying to accomplish.”

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