WMS Indians set for 2013 debutPublished 1:00pm Sunday, August 18, 2013
Even though the doors at Wetumpka Middle School don’t open until Monday, the WMS football team has been busy grinding out practices in the August heat.
“I think we’ll be competitive in our age groups,” said Mark Davis, first-year head coach at WMS.
So far 40 eighth-graders have turned out and began battling their way into depth chart spots.
“We are looking pretty good on both sides of the ball,” said Davis. “Offensively, we are kind of jostling around for a starting quarterback. We’ve just got to see who’s going to be the best one.”
The eight-grade Indians will feature running back Robert Laprade and linebacker Keldon Elmore along with defensive linemen brothers Torian and Tavian White.
Chase Adams and DeAndre Ezell are battling it out for the signal-caller job.
The seventh-grade numbers should expand once school starts.
“I’m kind of waiting for school to start,” said Davis. “Usually the seventh-graders come out the first week of school.”
Of the ones that have been building sweat equity, Trey Jones has stepped into the starting quarterback role while Colton (Bubba) Adams is in at running back. Wideouts, E.J. Rogers and Marquez Bowden are the leading candidates to earn starting slots.
“The thing with seventh-graders is that you have to start right at the beginning of the building process,” said Davis. “And it’s not just teaching them how to block and tackle, you’re building the fundamentals of the program here at the middle school.”
Seventh-grade is also a transition as kids move from youth league into the bottom floor of the high school program.
“We’ve got to put the pieces together,” said Davis. “We’ve got kids coming in from Montgomery, Holtville, here and Eclectic and I don’t know where they’ve played.”
Expectations for the eighth-grade are a little different.
“We are teaching them the fundamentals of the program,” said Davis. “By the time they leave the middle school, we want them to know the terminology and have a fundamental idea of the offense and defense so when they move on to the high school they’ll know and understand what the coaches are telling them. And that’s going to help the high school program.”
Wetumpka Middle is also playing a pretty competitive schedule.
The Tribe opens Aug. 29 against Opelika at Hohenberg.
From there, Wetumpka Middle has dates set against Smiths Station, South Gerard (Central-P.C.), Trinity, Long Cane (Troup County, Ga.) Auburn, Millbrook Middle/Junior and Prattville.
“There is no game on our schedule where we can just walk out there and win,” said Davis. “In the league we’re in, it’s extremely tough. We’d like to win every single game, but at the same time we are teaching them to practice and play that first game and then move on to get ready and play the next.”