With a very small senior class, East Clinton football coaches will have plenty of teaching to do throughout the season.
“We have a lot of first-year varsity football players so we used the scrimmages as a tool to evaluate and get them used to the speed of the game,” EC head coach Steve Olds said. “They (scrimmages) provided the boys with much needed experience and conditioning and gave us a clear idea of what we need to work on heading into the regular season.”
The Astros have just two seniors — Isaiah Conger and Adran Baker — on the roster. There are 13 juniors, nine sophomores and seven freshmen.
East Clinton opens the year in Lees Creek against Dayton Christian 7 p.m. Friday. East Clinton won last year’s meeting 46-13. The Astros went on to a 3-0 start but lost six of its last eight games, including a tournament game to Roger Bacon.
“Dayton Christian has a couple of really nice skill players,” said Olds. “Their quarterback is good football player and they have solid group of receivers returning. On defense they are running a 5-2 and we expect them to try and take away our running game. This game, like most, will be decided up front.”
Olds said the Astros have a few guys that are banged up, but “we are probably as healthy right now as we will be all season. It was a long camp and both scrimmages were physical so we do have a couple of guys that are banged up, but we don’t believe they are long term issues and we expect to have them back in a couple of weeks.”
While the focus is clearly on the Warriors, who were 2-8 last season, Olds said getting his players ready for the long haul also is a goal.
“It’s important that we develop some depth and that our young players grow up fast if we are to be successful this year, but most importantly, we need to be in great shape as almost all of our starters are going to play both ways,” Olds said. “We would love to be two platoon but we just don’t have the luxury of playing one side of the ball.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports