Coosa’s scrimmage against Bowdon showed head coach Todd Wheeler what he already knew about his football team.
They’re young. Really young.
With youth sometimes comes mistakes, but Wheeler saw positives after the preseason matchup with the Red Devils at Eagle Stadium on Friday night.
“We’re starting about four or five freshmen and, on top of that, we’re starting about four or five sophomores, and it’s showing,” Wheeler said. “The thing with youth is youth doesn’t know any better, but youth plays hard and some of that youth made some great plays.”
The night wasn’t without its hiccups for the Eagles as they struggled to get the ball moving and had trouble keeping the Red Devils out of the end zone.
Coosa’s first four series of the game ended in punts, while Bowdon had touchdowns on three of its first four possessions.
The Eagles also had some trouble maintaining control of the ball. The Eagles had four possessions end on lost fumbles and two series end with interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Bowdon’s Ben Fortson.
A bright spot during the scrimmage was junior wide receiver Terry Curry. Curry finished with 73 yards on four carries, including the Eagles’ only score of the night on a 60-yard touchdown run. He also caught two passes for 32 yards and had an interception on defense.
“Terry is a good athlete,” Wheeler said. “We try to use him in different positions and he does a great job. He’s shifty and he’s quick and fast. He’s going to be one of our weapons.”
Coosa struggled early to get a passing game going, but eventually saw more success in the second half. Freshman Hayden McBurnett and junior Brevan Knight combined to go 7-for-20 for 90 yards.
Wheeler mentioned Deolis Millsap, a sophomore lineman, as one of the young players that has stood out so far this season.
“He’s another guy we’re asking a lot out of,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got some guys that are showing some leadership in the way they’re acting.”
Wheeler said one thing the Eagles will have to continually work on is their performance in the weight room. He said the size difference between both teams Friday night was of key importance in the matchup.
“I think the biggest difference we saw tonight was in the weight room,” Wheeler said. “Those kids down there (Bowdon) are bigger and thicker and stronger than us. I just challenged our kids to get in the weight room and get stronger and continue playing hard and working hard.”
The Eagles will open the season Friday on the road against Class A Trion.