Cougars show strength/improvement in scrimmage

By Stephen Henderson
Improvement, strength and numbers were three very important factors that were put on display Saturday morning when the Patrick County High School Cougar football team hosted Eastern Montgomery and Grayson County High Schools for a three-team scrimmage.
The scrimmage was set up so that all three teams could work on a basic set of 10 plays each going on offense and defense. After a short break, actual game conditions were played with each team competing for a quarter under live game situations.
The Cougars looked good, both offensively and defensively. Tyvin Martin, Colt Martin and Aaron Radford piled up some yardage on offense. Zach Strole, Duncan Merritt, Ruben Arellano and Hunter Kenyon made great defensive tackles. Newcomer Ethan Harkey made a near-perfect PAT kick after a score.
“I like what we’re doing—you can definitely see the improvement from last year,” Coach Derrick Jones said. “We are picking up from where we left off last year and making great strides.”
Senior leadership is one key factor on this year’s team. “We have a great group of seniors, and it shows because we are so much better this early in the season,” Jones said.
Jones said that there are still many areas that the Cougars need to improve on. “We have been doing some really good things, but we still have so much to improve on,” he said.
According to Jones, the team will work on recognizing offensive fronts to know what they are in to make sure blocking assignments are going to be true to plan. Along with that come formation and lineup adjustments. “We want to do well at playing our technique,” he said. “We are pretty good at knowing where to be—we have to work technique now.”
Jones had a great deal of praise for Tyvin Martin. “Tyvin has run the ball really great,” Jones said.
He also praised Seth Scott, a newcomer, as well as Will Taylor and Duncan Merritt who are showing potential on the defensive line. “Bradley Pell is showing promise at nose guard, and Tyvin has played better on defense than I thought he would,” Jones said.
Offensively, Jones hopes to work on the throwing game more. “I like the way we are running the ball, but we need to work on throwing it some more. Our offensive line is showing great improvement,” he said. “It takes some work.”
Jones spoke highly of some of the players who stepped up Saturday in the scrimmages including Shamar Hill and Jayse Turner, who played JV last year.
Depth has been a constant battle for the Cougars for the past several years. Even though there are over 30 players on this year’s squad, Jones does not feel that the Cougars are home free. “Depth is still a problem—we have more players, but we have a lot of first-time players who haven’t played. It’s going to take some time to get depth. But we have a lot more skilled players to step up to take a spot on the field and work.
The Cougars host Staunton River Friday night in a benefit game starting at 7 p.m. The regular season opens August 26, at home against Halifax.football Martin, hutchens football Aaron Radford

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