|Marks for locals from A to I |
|Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 7:17 pm |
|The report cards are in and the grades have been posted. |
Some marks are good.
Others were, but slipped.
Another still might best be described as ‘incomplete.’
With the end of the 2008 regular season, Obion County’s three prep football entries have each been critiqued for 10 games.
Final records make up only part of the score, with progress, realistic capabilities and a curve all figured in the assigned letter-grade.
UNION CITY A-
The Tornadoes have made huge strides throughout the program via extra-credit work earned in the weightroom to move to the front of the class.
And that’s even before adding in their extra credit for the playoffs.
Immediately upon his hiring, head coach Darren Bowling enlisted the help of the UC Booster Club and purchased several thousands of dollars worth of weights. That essentially has been the difference in the Twisters being transformed into a stronger, more-physical squad than in recent seasons.
Union City has gradually taken to nuances of Bowling’s option offense, showcasing a punishing and big-play ground game.
And despite the loss of standout quarterback Colton Speed and a handful of critical other seniors, the Twisters — with another year to familiarize themselves with the midline/veer — appear likely to be even better next season with the return of fullback Josh Nicks, slots Kendrick Price and Jacob Worley and center Will Arnold up front.
Defensively, only a few opponents have mounted any semblance of a rushing attack — another byproduct of a rigorous offseason. Tackles Ronnie Fair and Trey Maddox, end Stevie Gossett and linebacker Rance Barnes are all juniors and should be even more-imposing next season.
Minus-points to UC’s grade this season are subtracted due to shaky play against the pass by the linebacking corps and the secondary, while the lack of a legitimate passing game and the kick coverage team needing a review too.
SOUTH FULTON B-
The Red Devils had an A+ for a 6-0 start, but found themselves in need of additional tutoring after collapsing to an 0-4 finish that invoked memories of past years.
Rookie head coach Kelly Spivey’s teaching methods worked wonders over the first six weeks. SF gained confidence weekly, aided by close wins over Ballard Memorial and Fulton City, games in which the Redmen likely would’ve never won in the recent past.
Spivey could never get his point across over the final month, though, and has some serious instructing to do between now and next season on effort and the hardships of a full 10-game season.
Graduation will not be kind either, to the Devils with quarterback Corbin Hawks and linebacker Skylar Cherry among 10 seniors. The return of South Fulton’s best all-around player though — Jonathan Avent — along with fullback Jared Fowler and hulking lineman Sam Curtis gives the Big Red a nice core for next season.
OBION CENTRAL I
While some would be quick to give an ‘F’ to the Rebels following a second consecutive 0-10 finish, a fairer evaluation is probably an ‘incomplete.’
A final grade will be posted after another year in Shawn Jackson’s system and a demanding offseason program.
Certainly, OC is a work in progress. The shortcomings are many, topped by a defense that didn’t stop much of anybody. Opponents averaged 45 ppg, and scored 34 or more in nine of 10 contests.
On offense, the Rebs were better — twice as good as last year. Central scored 150 points in ’08 after tallying just 68 a year ago.
Maybe more importantly, OC will rid itself of a rugged schedule that saw its opponents win more than 70 percent of their games.
The return of dual standout Patrick Haskins, linebacker Blake Boyd and safety Patrick Minnick means OC has promise for ’09.