Two weeks without a football family has been tough on players and coaches.
By all general looks, both were glad to be reunited this week following time away for Hurricane Florence. The storm struck the region Sept. 14; school, practices and games haven’t happened since the Tuesday prior.
Bladen County Schools were still out this week, but practices resumed for football and East Bladen will be first up on Friday with a date at West Columbus. On Monday, West Bladen hosts South Robeson.
The Three Rivers Conference was expected to slate the remaining schedule in a meeting on Thursday that was still ongoing at press time.
“We went out to eat last week, about half showed up, maybe 20,” said East Bladen head coach Robby Priest. “We tried to get them together. Now, we’re getting back, still haven’t had everybody there. Some were dealing with a lot on their plate, as far as who is in the house and everything that they have. It’s kind of been a wait and see type deal. It’s a little different.”
Kris Williams saw his team on Wednesday. He said the condition of the team is to be expected – out of shape. But there was good news, too.
“Everybody is excited about being back, and it was good to see the kids,” Williams said. “I think they were happy to see us, too.”
Priest said his team will be challenged by a Vikings squad with athletes, team speed and weapons at the skill positions.
“Their quarterback is a real good athlete,” Priest said. “They’ve got a running back that can change the game in about six seconds, because he’s pretty fast.”
The Vikings (1-2, 0-1 Three Rivers) have shown various formations, including a double wing, double split akin to Georgia Southern teams of old, and with four receivers wide in a pistol version of the shotgun. Priest expects a stacked line against his run-minded Eagles (2-1, 1-0 Three Rivers).
“They’re pretty athletic, the linebackers come hard and fly around, get to the ball pretty good,” he said.
Williams said the Mustangs (1-2 1-0 Three Rivers) are good in their wing-T, with most of their passing coming from dropbacks from center. He said the defense is a 3-3 stack most likely when the Knights (0-3, 0-1 Three Rivers) employ their shotgun.
“Their offensive backs are pretty good,” the second-year head coach said. “They’re not huge, but they’re quick and have good feet. They run the ball hard. The quarterback is the same kid they had last year. In the videos we got, he didn’t have a lot of time. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do the same.”
Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or email@example.com. Twitter: @alanwooten19.