Wade pleased with spring drills
by Doug Gorman
The best thing about spring football practice is it gives coaches 10 days to evaluate talent for the upcoming season.
On Friday, East Coweta put an end to the session with a 90-minutes offensive versus defense scrimmage under the lights at Garland Shoemake Memorial Stadium.
The Indians return to the gridiron this year after posting a 5-7 record that included a playoff victory over Newton County.
“We didn’t split up into two teams this year like we normally do,” said head coach Clint Wade. “We were just concentrating more on evaluating who get off blocks and who they can match up against and just try to install some different stuff, and see if we can get things going in the right direction.”
East Coweta entered the spring practice with a pair of new coaches. Jamie Glover takes over on the offensive line, and Armond Tinker will coach the defensive line.
“We have had to put in some new terminology, so we are still getting adjusted to some of that,” Wade said.
East Coweta went through spring without starting quarterback Bryce Gemmel, who helped lead the Indians to the Final Four in baseball.
Once fall drills start, Gemmel is expected to jump right in.
“We aren’t really worried about him not being here for spring practice, Wade said. “We knew he was going to be gone for spring, so we were able to work around it.”
However in his absence, rising freshman quarterback Will LaGuardia led the offensive unit on a couple of scoring drives hitting some long passes.
“He is just a real cool headed kid,” Wade said of the Arnall Middle eighth-grader, who was getting a chance to experience his first varsity spring practice. “He always has a smile on his face. I am really proud of him.”
Chancellor Johnson and Will Morris also came into the came at quarterback and executed a couple of series.
Rising senior Weylin Orr comes out of spring practice as the leading candidate to replace Dee Godfrey, who signed with Georgia Southern and was the leading rusher for three straight years.
Orr had a couple of long runs to close the spring.
Defensively, Michael Singleton turned in a 96-yard interception return for the touchdown to stop a offensive goal-line drill.
Matthew Ragan had a fumble recovery. Noah Rutherford and Tyler Bunn each had a sack.
East Coweta will take one week off as soon as school ends, and then begin its preseason programs which include passing leagues and offensive line camps.
“Overall, I am pretty pleased with it,” Wade said. “We had some kids who played last year and hopefully, they have grown up. They have gotten faster and stronger because of time in the weight room.”