|SF minus Avent not hopeless |
|Posted: Monday, August 3, 2009 5:27 pm |
There’s no ‘I’ in team at South Fulton.
Jaquay Garmon fakes a handoff during scrimmage action.
Consequently, there apparently will be no Jonathan Avent on the Red Devil football roster this season.
Having not participated in the club’s offseason program and a no-show for the start of preseason drills, SF’s leading rusher, receiver and scorer last year is not in the Devils’ 2009 plans, head coach Kelly Spivey confirmed after his team’s initial preseason scrimmage against Bruceton.
And though Avent’s overall athleticism was missed and certainly will leave a void in the coming season, the Devils showed they are not a one-man team after outscoring the Tigers three-touchdowns-to-two Friday.
Spivey addressed Avent’s status afterward, saying, “In all likelihood, he won’t be with us this season.”
“We have team rules that we expect our kids to adhere to and live by, and we’ve reached out to him, but he’s not responded at all,” the South Fulton skipper said. “It’s time for us to move on, I believe.”
The multi-talented Avent rushed for nearly 700 yards and scored 12 touchdowns as a sophomore a year ago when the Red Devils won their first six games to surpass the total of the three previous seasons combined.
The apparent loss of Avent and 10 seniors who were an integral part of that success will certainly make repeating last year’s surprising results difficult. The SF cupboard is hardly bare, though, with a promising cast of characters who were on display Friday.
Freshman quarterback Jaquay Garmon threw a pair of touchdown passes in his bid to win the starting job and the Redmen got steady, if not spectacular, running back contributions from Jared Fowler, Chance Barnes and Tyler Nolan in a balanced offensive attack against Bruceton.
Garmon hit Jonathan Clouse for a 25-yard score and then hooked up with fellow ninth-grader Khiry Lewis for a pretty 50-yard TD connection to take a slight lead over Kyle Clouse in the QB derby that’s sure to last until the first game — if not beyond.
“Jaquay had a good first scrimmage,” Spivey said of the younger of two signal callers, who missed spring drills due to an off-the-field matter after starting for South Fulton’s unbeaten junior high team a year ago. “He’ll be the starter on Monday in practice, but I can’t say anything beyond that. Kyle had a good spring and I’m not just going to throw that away because of one scrimmage.
“I believe the competition will make them both better. And I won’t have any problem playing them both.”
Barnes had a 50-yard touchdown run for the Devils’ second score.
“We’re not where we want to be by any means, but it was a step in the right direction,” the SF coach continued. “Offensively, we didn’t run the ball consistently as well as I’d like for us to, but I think we’re going to be a little more balanced with our passing game — no matter who’s playing quarterback.
“Hopefully, we’ll end up being a good defensive football team and one that will be a possession-type club on offense that can hit the home run on occasion with the pass. We have the potential, I believe.”
Fowler was also in on a number of tackles defensively from his linebacker post. End Sam Curtis drew constant double-teams, yet still made several plays, too.
Bruceton’s Chandler Jordan, who lined up at receiver, running back and quarterback, accounted for both his teams’ TDs in the scrimmage. The Tigers, who are under the direction of past standout tailback Jamie Williams as their new coach, failed to score in a similar such session between the two clubs in the spring.
Garrett Edmison accounted for a fourth score for South Fulton during the final few plays between second-teamers after freshman J.P. Fowler set up the touchdown with a long run.
South Fulton will not scrimmage again until participating in the annual Ken-Tenn Jamboree, Aug. 14, against Ballard Memorial (Ky.) at SF Athletic Field.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.