Season’s finally here

Published 12:03 am Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pleasant Home’s John Newby runs the ball during the Eagles’ red and white game last week. PHS will host Cottonwood Friday night for its opener. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Pleasant Home’s long wait is over.

The Eagles have been anxiously waiting for their season opener against Class 2A’s Cottonwood on Friday night.

PHS head football coach Cody McCain said he could get a sense from his coaching staff and players that that’s what they want to do — “play somebody else.”

“The excitement’s built up from everybody to get out there and play game one,” McCain said.

Pleasant Home is coming off of a historical season, where it finished in the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs.

Cottonwood enters the season with quarterback threat Cory Gill. Gill is a QB who can throw the ball, McCain said.

“From what we saw in the spring game, and I don’t know if it was by design, but he (Gill) stayed in the pocket a little more than usual,” he said. “He’s one of the better pure passers we’ve seen all year.

“I saw him throw it a couple times and let the ball go down the field,” he said. “In the past, I know they ran a lot of spread option type stuff.”

A big target for Gill is wide receiver Darius Moore, who may be smaller in size, but can be effective on the speed dial.

“He’s really quick,” McCain said.

In addition to Gill and Moore on offense, McCain said the team will keep a close on on CHS’ linebackers core.

“They have a big middle linebacker and a lot bigger kids in the inside linebackers spot,” he said.

This week at practice, in spite of the threat of bad weather, McCain said the focus has been to “increase conditioning.”

“We ran them pretty hard this week,” he said. “We’ve been lucky. I thought we’d maybe get in one day, at least two and hopefully we’ll add a third (Wednesday).”

McCain said the team has been on the practice field a little longer than normal.

“That’s probably the way everybody feels,” he said.

When asked if the team is “excited” to be able to take the field for the first game, McCain said hopefully the extra work will have paid off. The Eagles didn’t play a jamboree game like so many local teams did last week.

“The fact that now this week they’re working for an opponent to start the season and playing a good opponent at home — the kids are starting to get excited about that,” he said.

Kick off at Eagles Field at PHS is at 7 p.m. on Friday.