Progress reportsPublished 8:51pm Friday, August 16, 2013
CHOCOWINITY — Exactly seven days away from Week 1 of the prep football season, Washington and Northside gathered at Southside High School, along with Columbia, Pequimans and South Lenoir, to see just how far they’ve come this summer and how far they have to go to get prepared for their respective openers.
The Seahawks, led by first-year coach Jeff Carrow, struggled during a scrimmage on Wednesday at Northside, but returned to form on Friday to give a solid showing during the jamboree.
“I really just wanted to see improvement from the other day. I felt like we could have played better Wednesday at Northside,” Carrow said. “So far we’ve looked much better on defense and on offense. We’re much more aggressive, so that’s improvement right there.”
With the graduation of quarterback Cole Kellum, the Seahawks find themselves in the midst of a QB battle between junior Donshae Miller and sophomore John Sullivan and Carrow said it’s going to come right down to the wire.
“It’s tit-for-tat still,” Carrow said. “Both of them are in the spotlight. The camera is on them. We’re still evaluating and we’ll make a decision at some point next week.”
Both QBs had their moments as Sullivan hit Matt Baxter down the left sideline for a long TD and Miller found Donald Moore on the right side for a 30-yard score.
Northside coach Keith Boyd was pleased with what he saw from his team on Wednesday and was looking for that to continue on Friday. However, a chippy opening series against Perquimans rattled the Panthers early.
“I was looking for us to come out and build on what we did Wednesday but we seemed to lose a little bit of composure in that first scrimmage,” Boyd said. “Toward the last part versus Washington we had some positive stuff happen but we have to learn how to not let people get in our heads and take us out of our game.”
Also out of the game was senior middle linebacker Dale Russ, and Boyd said that was a position he was looking at with great interest on Friday.
“Dale Russ is out with a knee injury and we’re looking at Manuel Mendoza there and he was doing pretty well,” Boyd said. “But, overall we’re just looking for effort and guys flying around on defense and just seeing who can run the plays the right way.”
Washington will also enter the 2013 season with a new quarterback as sophomore Brodie West will take the reigns from former WDN Offensive Player of the Year Jimmie Williams.
West had his moments during the scrimmage as he connected with Stevie Green down the left sideline for a 35-yard score despite being under heavy pressure from the Panthers defense.
“He threw the deep ball to Stevie a few times pretty good,” Washington coach Sport Sawyer said. “He moved around pretty well in the pocket, but we just have to give him a little more time on some plays to throw. He’s making pretty good reads right now.”
With most of its starting unit settled, Sawyer was paying close attention to the play of the backups on Friday, as well as the team’s execution on a whole.
“We’re looking to make sure we’re in the right positions,” Sawyer said. “We kind of know already where we are at one-deep, but we want to see what guys show up behind them and what guys don’t. We’re just trying to fill out the roster.”