Leader Blues

Monday, August 13, 2007

SPORTS>>Falcons’ backfield to be the backbone

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

The North Pulaski football team has made some strides in the second week of practice. The heat has taken its toll on some of the conditioning work, and are illness has run through the team as well. Only 32 of the 45 players on the roll were at practice Thursday.

The team is finding players to fill positions. The Falcons will have some excellent size in the offensive backfield, although it’s not certain exactly where everyone will play.

Three players are still battling for the quarterback spot. Marshall Shipley, a sophomore who started for the freshmen team last year, is battling AJ Allen and Melvin Tenner. Tenner has the strongest arm, but could be better utilized at tailback.
“We want to throw it some, throw some short stuff,” North Pulaski coach Tony Bohannon said. “Right now Tenner’s got the strongest arm for throwing the out and stuff like that. The problem is he’s also probably our best tailback. He’s got the best combination of size and speed. Tenner is 6-foot-1 and about 200 pounds. He played fullback last season and also played on the defensive side of the ball.

Likely joining him in the backfield is fullback Jeremy Flint. Flint is a 6-2, 220 pounder. He’s not a speedster, but runs pretty well.

“He’s a load to bring down,” Bohannon said. “He runs pretty well too. Our biggest challenge right now is finding out who’s going to block for them. We’ve got a few linemen we feel pretty good about, but we don’t have enough at this point.”
North Pulaski has 16 players working as linemen, so the numbers are decent in that area. The staff is still trying to find the ones they feel will do the best job of opening and clogging holes, depending on the side of the ball.

“We got Dillon Sheffield back we feel good about him,” Bohannon said. “JJ Thomas just got out here this week. We’re counting on him but he’s behind. Cliff Copeland, he’s one of them that’s been sick. He’s been out here but we’ve got to get him in better shape. He’s got great size, we just have to get him ready. Right now we’re looking at playing guys both ways and that’s tough. We really hope some more are able to step up and fill some of those roles.”