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Blue Devils Complete Spring Training

Blue Devils Complete Spring Training

Staff Report

WATER VALLEY – The 2011 Water Valley Blue Devil Football Team completed its annual Spring Training and have one of the largest rosters in school history. At the conclusion of the Spring Game, seventy young men remain on the team going into Summer Workouts. On Thursday, May 12, the Blue Devils traveled to Eupora to take on the home-standing Eagles. The Varsity session ended in an 18 to 18 tie, while the Junior Varsity session resulted in a six to 12 setback.

    The Blue Devil defense, affectionately known as “The Wrecking Crew,” got off to a slow start as they allowed three quick scores, but the young players settled into their new roles and finished the game strong by shutting out the Eagle offense for the remainder of the contest.         

    Incoming senior outside linebacker C.J. Jackson paced the defense with 11 total tackles, five tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Linebacker Quinterrio Bailey and safety Kenon Kirkwood both contributed with seven stops each.

    New to the defensive backfield, Cornerback James Washington added an interception, two pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.

     The offensive unit did not see the same slow start as they continually moved the ball on the Eupora defense.         Incoming sophomore-quarterback E.J. Bounds led the team in both rushing and passing. Bounds connected to receiver K.J. Lee and tight end Alden Burns numerous times on the evening.

    The ground game led by the offensive line members Grant Thompson, Taylor Edwards, Denzell Jones, Montez Hairston, Daken-drick Gooch, and Rowdy Williams enabled three rushing scores with two touchdowns by Jackson and one by Lee.

    In the Junior Varsity game, Elijah Rogers led the team in rushing, quarterback Jonathan Kent hit Receiver Zach Bobbit for the lone touchdown score, and linebacker Cortaveus Hawkins led the team in tackles with six stops.

    “I was pleased with our third spring training since I started coaching in Water Valley,”    Head Coach Brad Embry reported about the spring training.

    “We approached spring a little differently than we have in the past. Instead of having to start over as we have the past two springs, I felt we were in a position to concentrate on finding depth at certain positions both offensively and defensively and were able to rest some kids who have nagging injuries from last fall.

   “Offensively we concentrated on throwing the football, especially obvious passing downs when play action is not as effective,” Embry continued. “We have thrown the ball okay in the past but mainly using play action on early downs.  I felt we needed to really concentrate on third  and long situations, when everyone knows we are going to throw,” Embry noted.

    The Blue Devils will turn their focus on finishing final exams and the team will begin a busy summer workout season on Wednesday, June 1 where they will lift each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    They will also participate in a 7-on-7 Passing League at Oxford High School and go to the Under Armour Camp at FNC Park.

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