from Jamestown News editor Ogi Overman who along with Mike Ellis cover the Ragsdale Tigers…..
Two important things happened for Ragsdale in last Friday’s scrimmages in the NewBridge Bank Jamboree, according to head coach Tommy Norwood.
“We played well on both sides of the ball, and we came out of it without any injuries,” he said. Although scores were not kept in the two 50-minute scrimmages against West Davidson and North Davidson, Norwood’s assessment was all positive.
“I thought our kids did really well,” he said. “I don’t know how many times we scored against each of them, but we did some good things. I was real pleased with our wide receivers, Brandon Walker and Anthony Stewart, and Garrison Herndon, our quarterback, looked real sharp. We held out our starting running back, Marquez Eleazer, because he was a little dinged up, but Xavier Jones stepped in and made some big runs for us. He’s small but he’s got a different gear.”
On defense, Norwood singled out linemen Trey Grimes, Larry Ogunjobi, Winston Craig and Chaka McCoy, and backs Chris Bailey-Burns and Sharif Diaz. “And those are just a few,” he added. “Overall our kids were ready to play. They got after it real good.”
Ragsdale returns five starters on offense and six on defense, and has numerous lettermen who’ve been with the program two or three years.
“All three of our linebackers are back and some of our defensive linemen, so that part of our game is pretty solid,” he said. “And what’s nice is that all our kickers are back, as well.”
The veteran mentor said that the squad has depth at some positions but not at others, making staying healthy all the more important.
“If we can come out of it healthy, that’s the key,” he noted. “Like a lot of high school teams, we can’t afford for the wrong guy to get hurt.”
Ragsdale opens the 2011 season on the road against Grimsley this Friday. But because the Whirlies’ scrimmage got rained out Friday, Norwood and his staff don’t know a whole lot about them.
“We were going to trade film (of the scrimmages), but I do know they’ve got a lineman, D.J. Reeder, that everybody in the area’s wanting, and a real good safety named Shoffner, Those are two that jump out at you.”
As for the Piedmont Triad 4A, the key word is balance. Although the consensus seems to have Northwest Guilford as the favorite and either Ragsdale or East Forsyth second, according to Norwood, “There’s nobody that’s that much better than anybody else, but there’s nobody that’s really weak, either.”
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