Everybody to the Football

Posted by Andy Durham on August 13, 2008 at 9:51 am under High School | 9 Comments to Read

We talked about Assignment Football yesterday and for the past couple of days on my morning runs a drill we used to use back in the HS practices has been playing around in my head, and I don’t know why the coaches don’t use this drill more today and why we don’t see this approach more in the games becasue it will eliminate, forever, all forms of lazy defense.

The drill is called Everybody to the Football and it’s like “All Hands On Deck” on the football field.

The coach has a scout team runningback stand on the other side of the defense and he tosses the back the ball and the defense from their proper alignment(5-2,3-4,4-3, whatever), when the back gets that ball, the entire defense has, we will say 15 seconds, to get to the ball carrier and everybody must get to the football.(The back is running at steady speed to left or to the right.)

Eleven hands and bodies must get to that runner in the given time frame or you’ll hear the coach yell those infamous words, “LINE ‘EM UP”. As a player you never want to hear those words, “LINE ‘EM UP”. You know what “LINE ‘EM UP” means, it’s time to run. Run till you get it right. And this approach really works. Everyvbody to the Football.

Can you imagine being in the game and being the opposing runningback and you look up when you get tackled and you see eleven bodies standing above you in the breakdown position. You are getting up from the ground and look up and see eleven men standing there with fists clenched in the breakdown position. That would leave a lasting impression on any ball carrier.

You have to avoid late hits with this approach but that’s the least of the coaches worries. You take a few late hits if your players are showing all-out hustle and they are getting to the ball. That’s what the overall scheme should be these days, “GET TO THE BALL”. How many times have you heard a coach say that? Get to the ball, “I want to see everybody get to the football”. And how about the players standing there in the “Breakdown Position”. Fists clenched, and ready to pounce and kill.

It’s a beautiful sight, and there’s nothing like seeing those lazy defensive backs get to the football and be in there on the play with the linemen and linebackers. Not a bad lesson for the day, “Everybody to the Football”.

The question for the day from Tuesday comes from Kevan who asks, “How’s Coach Fritz gonna do with his guys down at Southeast Guilford this year”?

Coach Fritz loses Justin Venable who is now at East Carolina on a full ride and he also will have to go with a new quarterback since Luke Stewart has graduated. Jack Shultz out of Grimsley is also down in Greenville at ECU trying to latch on as a walk-on with the Pirates. Back to Southeast, they will have one key ingredient that will have them on the map, “Team Speed”. We mentioned the Tyrell Anderson kid last week with his 4.3 speed in the 40 and Brian Webb runs with 4.35 time.

Big defensive end James Peguese(6’3/225/4.65 40) is back for his senior year for the Falcons and he might see some time this season at tight end. Terrence Topps. last year’s punter/field goal kicker, will be the new QB and Trey Artis should be available as a backup, that’s what he was doing last year, therefore he has some experience. When Tivon Clark joins the team, assuming that he does now that his baseball season is complete, he will provide more team speed, because Clark is strong and he can fly.

The Mid-Piedmont Conference should come down to the game of the year with Southeast Guilford and Ragsdale at SEG on September 26. The Ragsdale-Southeast game has become one of the premiere games in our area, right in there with Page-Grimsley, Dudley-Smith, and HP Andrews-HP Central. The Ragsdale-SEG contests are very competitive and this year Ragsdale will seek to counter SEG’s team speed with BIG linemen.

Ragsdale has Joey Finison 6’4/280 who is headed to Duke. They also employ Darrion Doleberry 6’1/ 240 with 4.8 40 speed and Daniel McNeil 6’2/225 4.75 40, Walt Sparks 6’2/200 4.8, Cedric Ellison 5’11/290 and tight end Ian Jenkins 6’2/220 4.8 and a hot college prospect, he’s also back.

The question for Ragsdale is who is gonna be the quarterback?

Ragsdale is loaded with talent and deserves to be the early favorite for the Mid-Piedmont Conference title. DeSean Anderson could play QB but he can also go at wide receiver and he can punt. Kasey Redfern who is also a soccer player, is a kid that was around last year that I really like. This kid is outstanding with kickoffs, field goals, and PAT’s. RB Josh Clark is back as is RB/DB Nick Mearite and Billy Stone is built like a rock at linebacker, checking in at 5’9/180 with a 4.8 40 and the colleges are looking.

The colleges are looking at a load of those Ragsdale players; Jenkins, Sparks, Ellison, McNeil, Anderson, Redfern, and others like Antonio Gilyard a defensive back listed at 5’7/150 but he has 4.5 speed in the 40.

We are going to have some great matchups this season and we will try and keep you up to date as the big day of August 22 approaches with the first games of the 2008 season.

We could still use info on last night’s Page and Grimsley scrimmages and others you may know about, if anyone has any news.


  • PagePirates44 said,

    I wasnt that the Page/Glenn Scrimmage, but i talked to starting safety Chase Johnson and starting slotback sophomore Thuc Phan, about it. Basically they both said the same thing. Our offense was very hard to stop, with big (6’1 205, 4.55) Lenny Gordon at RB, TE/WR Brad Workinger 6’3 195, skilled/fast young WRs from last years JV and a transfer from out of state, Fullback/LB Antonio Rustin 6’1 235, Thuc Phan playing the slot, and of course Will Newman at QB. Not to mention, this year we have one of the biggest and strongest Olines I’ve seen at Page since 2002 (Oline returned 4 from last year not including Brad at TE). On defense, Chase told me that Glenn didn’t do much, Page’s starters on D played very stingy and overwhelmed Glenn, which surprised me because Glenn is always very strong on O. The 2nd string for Page had a tough time, i was told.. most of them are younger guys. The defensive line is led by 6’4 245 lbs. DE Gabe King.

  • Andy said,

    Good job 44, and thanks for the report. I think I know that Tony Rustin kid and if he is the kid I am thinking of he is a good one, all the way around.

    Spread the word to the guys at Page about the GREENSBOROSPORTS.com site.

    Page led the way in views of our first days of practice videos, Dudley was second, Grimsley was third, and SEG came in fourth. 1598 views, the four schools combined so far, and that’s not bad at all.

    If anyone hears or gets any news about Grimsley in the scrimmage last night, then let us know and we are still looking for a scrimmage in Guilford County on Friday. The Big Show up in Reidsville sponsored by New Bridge Bank is coming up on Saturday with NEG, WG, Southern and others.

  • Andy said,

    The word I got on Grimsley-Carver last night was that it was a dogfight. Pretty much an even matchup but it wasn’t really a set scrimmage, it was more like a practice and the hitting between the two teams was intense.

    Veterans James Scales III(DB) and Andre Oliver(LB) were among the standout poppers for Grimsley on Defense.

    Grimsley used a lot of runningbacks with David Ray, Lay Lay Brown, Michale Dotts, QB Josh Patterson and his brother, plus Eric Davidson seeing plenty of work on the ground.

    Grimsley at Davie County in a multi-team scrimmage on Friday plus Page at Eastern Alamance, High Point Central has Lexington coming up and Southeast Guilford has Northwood and the SEG Falcons are going to Statesville one day this week and Ragsdale has another scrimmage coming up too.

    Thanks to all for the updates.

  • Greg said,

    Andy do you know what Northern Guilfords recruiting budget is? Check it out and let us know.

  • Lee said,

    Charles Thomason will be back in the backfield for Ragsdale as well as a very talented freshman and others. Clark and Dolberry did not return for their sr. year. Keith Hanford and Dajuan Garner along with Ian Jenkins have stepped up big at DE opposite Dan McNeil for Ragsdale. Ragsdale scrimmages Eastern Guilford Friday night.

    Greg raises an intessting quetsion. Kids and parents follow good coaches and better academics. Northern is a bright, shiney new school. It will attract a few transfers. The question becomes,”how do they get there?” And the question should only be answered by the school and county administration. As long as people follow the rules it’s nobody else’s business.

  • Andy said,

    Where did Clark and Doleberry go?

    I heard somewhere that Thomason was at High Point Central last year and that Coach Norwood said that if Thomason was at Ragsdale he would have started in 2007 and that he was very glad to have him back.

    Thanks for the update….Plus who is the Ragsdale starting QB?????

  • Lee said,

    Thomason has always had a parent in the Ragsdale district. The players are very fond of him. He is a great teammate.

    Not really sure on QB but it appears to be Romer. He’s done well so far. Has worked very hard and is much improved. O-line will be the key. Anderson has been away a lot with baseball plus he is gifted at WR and DB. I trust our coaches to make the right call. We’re very fortunate at Ragsdale. The whole staff is 1st class.

    Can’t really comment on Clark and Dolberry. Don’t have any facts.

  • Andy said,

    Thanks for the update on Ragsdale. Anything else you get send it our way. we appreciate it.

  • Mark said,

    Charles Thomason was fun to watch on the Ragsdale JV team when he was a FR and SO. I always thought he was good enough for varsity as a sophomore. I was really looking forward to watching him last year on varsity and was very disappointed he was at Central. Not sure what happened there but definitely glad to have him back at Ragsdale.

    Dolberry not playing will be a big loss for Ragsdale. He was big and athletic and made lots of plays. Both other players will step up. Lots of skilled athletes and as Lee said the coaching staff is first class all the way. Looking forward to the season. I have a feeling the Mid Piedmont conference is going to be a dog fight this year.