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’Jackets hope to build on spring excitement

’Jackets hope to build on spring excitement

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:00 pm

By RANDY CAVIN
Press Sports
Greenfield football head coach Don Pitt is excited about the Yellowjackets’ spring drills and is hoping his excitement carries over to the student body and community.
The Yellowjackets put the wraps on their spring football practice with an intrasquad scrimmage instead of scrimmaging another school. Pitt conducted an Orange and White Game with the White squad winning.
Pitt used this opportunity to hold a fundraiser with the entire student body coming out to see how this year’s ’Jackets looked.
“We did an intrasquad scrimmage and did it in front of the school,” Pitt said. “All of the students came out and watched it. That created some excitement. We sold concessions and stuff as a fundraiser.”
Pitt is planning on having his two quarterbacks battle it out for playing time.
The coach expects good things this year from senior Jeffery Johnson and sophomore John David Ricketts. Both quarterbacks will give Pitt a different style, and he is hoping this creates some problems for opposing teams.
Ricketts played behind center for the White team and had a pair touchdown tosses to junior wide receiver Miles Cavitt. Pitt liked what he saw out of the Ricketts and Cavitt tandem.
“Ricketts threw for two touchdowns and had some rushing yards in there,” Pitt said. “Miles Cavitt was at the other end of those touchdowns. Miles has put on some weight for sure and he is one of the hardest workers in the weight room. He really wants it right now.”
Johnson was only practicing half the time with the team while the baseball season was still in progress, but he was still effective in the spring game.
“We are going to let John David and Jeffery battle it out,” Pitt said. “Jeffery had a good spring game. We are going to let them two compete to be the starting quarterback. They are two different styles of quarterback, so we are going to see where that takes us.”
Pitt may be relying more on the running game this coming season with a pair of experienced running backs returning from last year.
Senior Austin Pence and junior Tanner Smithson will be called upon to carry the football this year. Pence was also late joining the spring practice because of the baseball season. He still rushed for over 100 yards in the spring game and scored one TD.
Team depth is always a concern for small schools, but Pitt thinks this year’s depth is better than last season with more students getting an interest in the football program. The head coach thinks both sides of the interior line will be better with more depth this season.
“We have had several guys step up in the line,” Pitt said. “We have some kids who are going to be sophomores like C.J. Wilson and Dionte Street who are going to be seeing a lot time in the offensive line this year. Patrick Flowers is a one-sport athlete who has put on some weight and added some strength. He is going to help us a lot on the defensive line.”
One area of concern for Pitt is the kicking game. He lost Zach Grebe to graduation and he came up big for the ’Jackets last season with his punts.
Pitt did not get many opportunities to use Grebe on field goals, but the head coach says Grebe definitely had the leg to put the ball through the uprights.
“He is going to be a big loss, especially with him punting the ball,” Pitt said. “That is where we are going to miss him the most. We did not get a lot of chances for field goals, but he could hit them. Changing the field on punting is where we are going to miss him the most.”
Pitt is expecting his kids to be more productive with one season under their belt in his system. Even the new guys on the team are buying into the system much quicker, and the head coach thinks everyone will stick with it.
“I think the ones who are returning have definitely bought into the system,” Pitt said. “Then, we have five or six new faces that have jumped right in. They are definitely going to stick with it.”
Pitt had 38 players on his spring roster compared to last season’s roster with 33 players on it. The second-year head coach will get his chance to see how those players perform when Greenfield opens the 2013 campaign at home against Gleason on Aug. 30.
The schedule continues with two more home games as the Yellowjackets host Halls on Sept. 6 in a District 14A game and West Carroll on Sept. 13.
Greenfield hits the road for back-to-back games — 14A foe Humboldt on Sept. 20 and Bruceton on Sept. 27.
The rest of the schedule will feature 14A opponents, beginning with home games against Trenton (Oct. 4) and Union City (Oct. 11).
Greenfield will then travel to Lake County on Oct. 18 and Gibson County on Oct. 25 before closing the season Nov. 1 at home against South Fulton.

Published in The WCP 5.28.13

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