’Dogs hope rough road only temporary
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
Gleason Middle School had a rough 2011 season after winning the Reelfoot Conference three consecutive years.
The Bulldogs could only manage to get one win last season after only losing one in 2010 and going undefeated in 2009. Head coach Noah Lampkins knows it is going to take some time to get his small number of kids back on the winning track.
“It is a rebuilding process,” he said. “It is a small school. Things go in cycles, and we just happen to be in one of those cycles now where we are limited in the number of athletes in those certain grades. But it is a good group of kids.”
The 2012 Bulldog roster has only 21 players listed and those players will get their first test on Tuesday when they travel to South Fulton to take on the Red Devils. South Fulton is the only team Gleason beat last season.
“We competed in some games last year,” Lampkins said. “It went down to the wire against West Carroll, and we competed well against Bruceton. But it is a rebuilding deal and, hopefully, we will improve this year. But, we are not very big and we are not very fast.”
The Bulldogs will be relying on eighth-grader Tim Russell at quarterback. This will be his first year to play at the quarterback position and he will play linebacker on defense.
“He is a good size kid and has some natural ability,” the head coach said. “So, we will find out more about him against at South Fulton.”
Eighth-grader Ryan Cole will be returning to his starting role at running back. Lampkins will be counting on him to get the ball into the end zone a lot for the Bulldogs. He has good speed with decent size and with an aggressive style of running the ball.
Joining Cole in the backfield will be eighth-grader Heath Keeling. He is a converted fullback who played right guard on the offensive line in 2011.
“He is a real aggressive masher who is one of those hard-nosed kids who plays really hard,” Lampkins said.
Protecting Cole and providing the hole for the running game on the offensive line will be seventh-graders, Braxton Vickers, Seth Bowers, and Tucker Green. The eighth-graders on the line are Frazier Wilson and Clayton Cook. At tight end will be Devon Kerr, who is also an eighth-grader.
Playing at wide receiver will be eighth-grader Luck Gatewood and seventh-graders Terry McKinney. Seventh-grader Jonathan Roland and sixth-grader Hart McKenzie round out the wide receiver position.
Lampkins will have his defense run the 3-4 and 5-2 schemes, switching up when the situation calls for it.
Seventh-grader Chandler Brawner and Cole will be playing the safety positions with McKinney and Gatewood manning the corners.
At defensive end will be seventh-grader Greg Graham. He will be joined by Wilson as the other defensive end. The nose tackle will be seventh-grader Logan Stewart.
The linebackers will be Russell and Keeley. They will be responsible for shoring up the line and putting additional pressure on the quarterback.
There are three teams in the Reelfoot Conference — Gleason, Greenfield and Dresden. The Lions were last year’s conference champs. The 2012 schedule has Gleason playing South Fulton, Bruceton, West Carroll, Greenfield, McKenzie, Huntingdon and Dresden. Lampkins says he tries to schedule the same teams that the high school plays in order the get his middle school kids better prepared for the high school competition. Published in The WCP 8.9.12