Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Preview: Arthur Hill

(Mike Schaaf returns to torch opposing secondaries)
(The Jacks are on a mission this year!)
(Above: Josh Hill and Chris Webb battling at practice)
(Below: Omari Humes sheds a block during practice)
The 2007 season left the Lumberjack football team wondering "what if". Last year the Jacks solidified their selves as being one of the most talented team in the state by compiling a 7-2 record only to fall to SVL rival Midland 43-29 in the first round of the playoffs. In that game Arthur Hill held a double digit lead early in the first half, and while the loss was tough enough to swallow, the Jacks were forced to watch Midland advance to Ford Field. "The loss was tough but our kids grew from that experience" adds Coach Fred Townsend. "It left us with an empty feeling and now were out to prove a point!"

Arthur Hill returns nearly everyone from last year's team and the Jacks are on a mission. "We are focused, we have expectations, and we have a different mindset from past years." says Townsend. Arthur Hill has quickly become one of the top football programs in Mid-Michigan, not only is it tough to find a weakness on either side of the ball but the Jacks have depth at every position. The Jacks will not rely on one or two players to carry the load so it forces opposing teams to pick their poison. Arthur Hill returns 9 starters on defense and 9 on offense.

OFFENSE- "Everyone knows our players at the skilled positions but our offensive strength is in our offensive line," says Coach Townsend. The Jacks return all five starters from last year's O-line: Courtland Young (C), Daniel Jackson (LG), Darius Baldwin-Miles (LT), Jacob Gager (RG), and George Adams (RT). They will give Schaaf plenty of time to throw and Wilson plenty of holes to run through. This offense will light up the score board and can brake loose from anywhere on the field.

DEFENSE- "We will be more disciplined this year and we are looking for 3 and outs!" stresses Coach Anwar Jackson, defensive coordinator. Don't expect too many shootouts with this experienced defense. The Jacks have speed and will fly to the ball and once they get there they will lay the lumber. While talking to the coaching staff the word "shutout" was mentioned a few times, so you know where their defensive mindset is- they don't plan to give up much!

PREDICTION: 9-0 You gotta love the mind set of the Jacks right now. They know how talented they are but they also know talent doesn't win games. "The kids understand that we can play with anyone in the state, but they also know if we don't work hard everyday then we will loose." states Coach Townsend.

I look for the Jacks to win out and win at least a share of the SVL. Since the Jacks don't have Midland on the schedule we'll have to wait for the playoffs to find the "true" Valley Champs! I expect a deep run into the playoffs with the Jacks getting past Midland this year.


Demarcio Copes, RB/C- will get a handful of carries to spell Wilson but will rarely leave the field. His versatility allows him to line up at multiple positions. Should be a big playmaker on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Omari Humes, TE/OLB- Humes is Schaaf's security blanket at tight end, 6-4/220 pounds with sure-catch hands. Humes also comes up big at his outside LB position with the speed and power to hawk down the ball.

Daniel Jackson, DE/LG- great combo of speed and power that you love to see on the edge. Will cause havoc in the backfield for opposing quarterbacks. Jackson is one of the most underrated D-ends in the state.

Chris Nelson, DL- Nelson lines up at the gorilla position for the Jacks and he plays the same way by just terrorizing the line of scrimmage. Nelson has a ton of experience and is another one of the defensive leaders.

Mike Schaaf, QB- the 6-7 QB and his rocket arm took the state by storm last year and expect even bigger numbers this year out of Schaaf. Schaff is still considered one of the top QB's in his class and that's without attending any of the combines.

Dell Simon, LB/RB- Simon started at LB last year as a freshman and was more than solid. This year the training wheels are off and expect to see Simon just rack up tackles at linebacker. He'll also get plenty of time in the Jack's backfield.

Chris Webb, WR- a handful of receivers will see the field but Webb will be the leader of the pack. He doesn't have a ton of brake away speed but he has great hands and can run every route.

Jerrell Wilson, RB- Wilson has the speed to bust open from anywhere on the field, he has the power to be an every down back that can pick up that extra yard between the tackles.

HELLO, MY NAME IS....Chandler Young The Jacks are ridiculously deep with underclassmen at every position and while Schaaf is the starting QB don't be surprised to see Young, a sophomore, get a fair share of snaps. "Chandler is dynamic and very athletic, and he can really really run the ball so he gives our offense a different dimension to what we can do offensively.

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