A New Tribe: Wetumpka wraps up spring with new facesPublished 4:07pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The lights of Hohenberg Stadium shined down on a tribe of new Wetumpka Indians Friday at the spring football jamboree.
Six months removed from Wetumpka’s second round home playoff loss to McGill-Toolen, the jamboree against Central-Phenix City, Smiths Station and Tallassee marked the program’s goodbye to 19 seniors, 12 of which started games last season.
“We feel like we made a lot of progress from May 1 to the jamboree,” Indian head coach Tim Perry said. “I thought we took a big step forward with a lot of players starting for the first time in their high school careers. That experience is invaluable, but it takes reps.”
Some units welcomed players returning from 2013, such as the offensive line, with four-star recruit Brandon Kennedy, and the running back corps, with Monti Cross. But as Wetumpka approaches summer workouts and fall camp, the battle for signal caller will continue.
“Ryan Crockett and Keldon Washington performed well,” Perry said. “The quarterback position is a tough position to learn. It takes a lot reps and time to be comfortable in the pocket, reading defenses and not pressuring yourself. I thought they did well.
“We haven’t made a decision yet. Both guys are working extremely hard to learn the position and the offense. We’re not making a decision on the starting quarterback until later in the fall. They’re both competing and have a lot of work to do.”
While each defensive unit lost at least one starter, Perry said he was pleased with the in-game adjustments his defense made in the jamboree.
“The defense did a great job of adjusting to different styles of offense and different speeds,” Perry said. “Again, we got some guys starting for the first time in their high school career. There’s no substitute for experience. I thought we ran to the ball well, tackled well.
“I thought we were opportunistic and took advantage of some turnovers. Both sides of ball, after the first quarter, really settled down. We knew there would be some nervousness, we anticipated that. But both groups relaxed as the jamboree progressed.”
Four months separate the new Tribe and its 2014 season opener against Thompson. And while Perry said Wetumpka was fortunate to avoid serious injury, it’s early in the process of solidifying the depth chart. But the head coach appreciated all of his guys’ competitive spirit and approach.
“We were proud of their effort, we thought they did what we wanted them to do. They fought hard and supported each other very well. Some were even frustrated with their performance, which as coaching staff, we like. We like to see the guys push themselves and to keep getting better and better.”