LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The second year of the Coach Jeremy Austin era at Moore County High School got underway earlier this month as the MCHS football team took to the field in pads for spring practice.
The Raiders were allowed two weeks of practice to go along with their conditioning. The team had a pair of scrimmages, one at Community on May 9 and one at Grundy County on May 15.
“I think in both scrimmages our kids played physical. On our defense we had a few miscues, but we swarmed to the ball and were able to get a lot of hats on the ball,” said Austin. “Offensively we had a pretty good (two weeks). We need to develop some linemen and continue to work on the little things in the offseason and get healthy.
“Both Spencer Reese and Mason Henshaw had real good scrimmages and on the defense Jake McGee and Dustin Bell had good scrimmages.”
While this is Austin’s second season as Moore County’s head football coach, it marks the first time he’s been able to go through a spring practice unintruded. Last year Austin was still wrapping up his duties as Moore County’s head softball coach as well.
“It did feel a little bit different not being on the softball field, but it was good to be able to spend every day with the kids instead of wondering what they were doing in the weight room,” said Austin. “I think the offseason has gone well. Our kids have gotten stronger … bigger and stronger.”
After winning their first two games to open the 2014 season, MCHS went 2-6 down the stretch and missed the playoffs. Austin said his first year as a head coach was a learning experience.
“It was a great learning experience. We evaluated ourselves in the offseason both as a head coach and as a coaching staff,” he said. “We looked at things that we need to do better this next (season) as a staff to get us better and to get us where we need to be in the 2015 football season.”
The first game of the season is set for Aug. 21 at Cascade, a familiar opponent for the Raiders. But as they get deeper into the season, there’ll be some new scenery in Moore County’s conference this season.
Columbia Academy, Cornersville, Mt. Pleasant, Richland and Summertown join Huntland, Fayetteville and Moore County in the newly-formed Region 4-A. Huntland and Fayetteville are the only holdovers from Moore County’s old region.
“We’re excited to be able to go to a new region and be able to play all 1-A schools that are roughly the same size as we are and dealing with the same things that we do,” added Austin. “We’ve crossed paths with most all these teams somewhere over the last five years, so they’re not all unfamiliar. We look forward to playing them and trying to compete for a region championship.”
While the Raiders are shut down now, they can start throwing again in June. They’ll be able to put their helmets and pads back on July 20.
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, Editor & Publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org
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