Pam Pack welcomes new opportunities|Washington ready to run the option

Published 10:31 am Sunday, August 2, 2009

Staff Writer

The Washington football team hit the damp grass running Saturday morning outside J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium in its first official practice of the 2009 season.
The practice, which started at 8 a.m. on a muggy morning, put the varsity and junior varsity teams through various drills and skill sets.
After the two-hour practice, Pam Pack head coach Sports Sawyer said he was pleased with what he saw out of his varsity players.
“Overall, it wasn’t a bad first day,” he said.
Following conditioning drills, including up-and-downs and wind sprints, Sawyer had his players line up on offense and defense without pads or contact. Conducting the offense, Sawyer had his first teamers running mainly out of the option formation.
A majority of the offense’s plays went from skinny, speedy sophomore starting quarterback Trey Harris to standout senior athlete Dakuan Spencer.
The two looked in-sync during the option drills, with Harris faking handoffs to Spencer and splitting the seam of the defense at times, and electing to pitch the ball to Spencer to take it out wide at other times.
However, the defense adjusted on some plays, and on one particular play powerful junior lineman Marquis Gray got into the backfield and lit up Harris before he could make a cut up the field.
Harris popped up and shook off the hit, but admitted after practice that the knock down shook him up.
“He kind of made my nose bleed a little bit,” he said.
But the promising quarterback said he’ll be ready to go at practice on Monday.
“I’ll be alright, as long as I don’t take anymore big hits like that,” Harris said.
Besides that one miscue by his offensive line, Sawyer said he was pleased with how the option package looked.
“We’re looking to run a little bit more option this year because we’ve got a little bit of speed in the backfield,” he said. “We want to see what best fits our personnel.”
Spencer said he sees more speed than last season’s team across the board, which led the senior leader to make a strong prediction.
“I think out team will be better than last year’s team,” he said.
And he’s putting the onus on himself to be a team leader.
“It’s my last year. I’ve got to,” he said.
Harris, the Pam Pack’s starting junior varsity quarterback last season, also said he’s ready to rise to the occasion and fill the void left by all-conference quarterback Austin Thompson.
“I can handle it,” he said. “I’ve got players around me that will help.”
The Pam Pack will be back on the field on Monday at 5 p.m. for a two-hour plus practice, including weight lifting. The players will be able to don shoulder pads on Wednesday and can starting hitting on Saturday. To get an early start on hitting drills, Washington will practice from around 9:30 p.m. Friday night into Saturday morning.