LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Moore County High School football coach Jason Dobbs got a good look at his new football team last month. With about three weeks of spring practice and a couple of scrimmages now in the books, Dobbs, who is taking the reigns here after serving as an assistant at Riverdale High School, can regroup and start to make assessments and initial evaluations.
Dobbs and the Raiders had 15 days together from the time they began spring practice. During that span they were allowed 10 practices and two scrimmages. Moore County scrimmaged both Grundy County and Whitwell, with the May 26 scrimmage against Whitwell wrapping up the spring.
“I think we had a very productive spring,” said Dobbs. “We came a long way from where we started. A lot of guys who never really had much playing time had to play. They’ve been in the fire, and they made progress. I am pleased with our progression.”
Dobbs said it was a bit ragged at first, but the Raiders seemed to get better as they went along.
“We had our first scrimmage after just one day of practice. We were slow and sluggish,” he said. “I think we were shell shocked a little bit.
“Going into the second scrimmage with Whitwell, I told the guys what we were looking for. I told them (some) specific things I was looking for. I wanted them to be physical. I wanted to see if they could (overcome) adversity; and I wanted to see … would they compete.
“After the Whitwell scrimmage I felt like we answered all of those questions in a positive manner. Nobody hung their head. They fought and they battled.”
Dobbs said there is still a long way to go and the team will use the summer to try and continue making progress. He expects the Raiders to be stronger and more physical when the season-opener rolls around in late August. And he expects those with little experience to be a bit more comfortable in their roles as the 2016 season approaches.
“I had a lot of young kids who had never played before. They stepped up and I was pleased,” he added.
There are just seven seniors on the roster right now — Luke Sells, Corbin Nobitt, Sam O’Neal, Austin Waters, Ryan Huskey, Dillon Fowler and Isaac Holt. Both Noblett and Sells were unable to practice much as they were saddled with injuries.
Dobbs said Holt did a solid job in the spring and was a workhorse against Whitwell, carrying the ball 17 times.
“He did a great job. He’s a competitor,” said Dobbs. “He’s physical … everything you want in a football player.”
The Raiders went back to work this week, with both weight lifting and football-specific training. They’ll have the last week of June and the first week of July off during the TSSAA dead period. After that, Dobbs said the team will get after it in anticipation of getting into full pads the last week of July.
Moore County will open the 2016 season at home against Cascade on Aug. 19 and then face Forrest on Aug. 26.
The 11-week TSSAA season used to begin with a Week 0 contest and end with a Week 10 game, with a bye week somewhere along the way. The TSSAA now recognizes the season as 11 weeks and begins with Week 1 and ends in Week 11, still with a bye week in between.
“Our first two opponents right out of the gate will be a tall task and will answer a lot of questions for us,” said Dobbs.
—ROBERT HOLMAN, Publisher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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