Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 17, 2007
Following last season's 14-12 loss to Highland Home in the spring football game, Greenville head coach Bryant Vincent said his team had a few things to learn.
“We don't know how to seal the deal yet,” Vincent said. “We have to, first, learn how to win.”
The Tigers learned plenty during the 2006 season as they finished with a 10-3 record and a quarterfinals playoff appearance, but the loss to the Flying Squadron still stings.
Highland Home quarterback Demond Sankey completed a 3-yard pass to Kylen Grace to cap a 16-play drive with two and a half minutes remaining last season to tie the game and then Anthony Merriweather scampered in for the two-point conversion to seal the victory for the Squadron.
During that game, Sankey made many plays to keep the Squadron in position to win and that is something Vincent remembers to this day.
“Sankey is a phenomenal athlete and can be the difference in a football game.” Vincent said as he compared the Highland Home quarterback to Eufaula quarterback Jerrell Jernigan. “We're going to have to contain him, period.”
The Tigers' best chance to stop Sankey, besides keeping him off the field, will be the Greenville defensive front, led by ends Akeeva Owens and Jamontay Pilson.
“I think we've made tremendous strides defensively,” Vincent said of spring practice. “I thought our defense took the next step (during Friday's scrimmage).”
Although he said many of the players are beaten and banged up, Vincent noted the play of Owens, Pilson, Josh Longmire, Tremaine Brewer and Marcus Mickles as players who have stepped it up over the past week.
On the offensive side of the ball, Vincent said the Tigers' best chance is to do what they know best.
“We've got to stay on our blocks and execute,” Vincent said. “We've got to improve our mentality on offense to execute every play and move the chains.”
In the battle for running back, Vincent said Charleston Lymon will start at tailback, although he hopes to work in Derrick Brown and Cordez Peagler.
Vincent also said he has been pleased with the play and effort of wide receivers Traves Yelder and Darel Carter.
While he said he has had players step up physically, Vincent said the Tigers are still looking for leaders to step up.
“The thing we're missing is leadership,” Vincent said. “I'm hoping that once they get comfortableŠ our leaders will rise to the front.”
Friday's game against the
Highland Home Flying Squadron is scheduled for 7 p.m., at Highland Home.
The junior varsity players for both teams will play the first quarter and the varsity players will play the remaining three quarters.
“I think it's going to be a challenge and I want to kick this spring off the right way,” Vincent said of Friday's game. “I want to see the Tiger Nation ready and waiting for their Greenville Tigers.”