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Eagles begin practice

©2013 NPT PHOTO BY SETH BUTLER
Cosby High School’s Dereck Weeks is surrounded by defenders during drills in the Eagles initial preseason practice on Monday morning. Cosby’s first scrimmage of the preseason is set on August 9, when they travel to Cumberland Gap High School.
Published: 3:45 PM, 07/30/2013 Last updated: 3:46 PM, 07/30/2013
 

Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

COSBY—It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost football season once again.

The Cosby Eagles are hard at work preparing for the upcoming 2013 season and particularly the August 23 opener at Pigeon Forge.

While the Eagles have gotten some work in since the start of full pads practice, head coach Kevin Hall acknowledged that school starting back will help with the number of players participating.

Once they get the bulk of their starters on the field, they will be able to make some better strides.

“We’ve had a good turnout this summer,” Hall said. “I’ve had upwards of 28, 29, 30 kids at any time. But it’s still the summer and you can’t get them all here until school starts. We’re excited to see school start so we can get the full team out here and really start getting some good work in.

“Summer practice, it is what it is. You get out here and you work on some technique, you hit the weight room, and you try to get bigger, faster, stronger,” Hall said. “But the real football work starts here soon right when school starts. We’re looking to hopefully have 45-50 kids out to establish and build some depth.”

Building depth is always something crucial, particularly for a school of Cosby’s size. If you can build depth, you have a much better chance for success.

Practice and scrimmages over the next weeks will show who’s ready to play.

“As always, we feel like our first 11 are pretty solid,” Hall said. “We feel like we have quite a bit of depth on the offensive line. We just need to build some depth at receiver, linebacker and some of the skill positions.

“We’re trying to get the best 11 on the field and next best 11 to back them up, coach them up, and then get ready for week zero,” Hall said.

The 7-on-7s are over. It’s time for everyone to come together and figure out what type of team the Eagles will be this year.

Not only will practice help with this process, but scrimmages will as well. The Eagles are set to travel to Cumberland Gap on August 9 and they will host Tri-Cities Christian on August 16.

“When fall hits and you put the pads on, it becomes a totally different mindset,” Hall said. “You start installing the run game, beating and banging, and you start finding out which kids are going to get out there and get after it.

“You also learn which kids are going to help you and which ones are a year away,” Hall said. “Then you start learning what you need work on individually with each kid.

“Fall is more about team if I had to really simplify it,” Hall said. “Fall is more about team and working together, and summer is more about individual improvement.”

Hall says this could be the most athletic team the Eagles have ever had. With experience back on the offensive and defensive lines, if Cosby finds players that can be successful at the skill positions, it could translate to success in the win column.

“I tell people we’re as athletic as we’ve probably ever been. There’s just not a lot of experience,” Hall
said. “We’re hoping we can get a lot of that experience in a couple of these fall scrimmages and build their confidence a little bit.

“If they can gain some experience athlete-wise, we’re as good as we’ve ever been,” Hall said. “They’re just young and haven’t played a whole lot.”

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