Mix and match time for Jamesville|Bullets look to replace 12 seniors

Published 11:23 am Saturday, August 8, 2009

Contributing Writer

JAMESVILLE – It’s trial and error time for Jamesville coach Richie Ange, as he will spend the next few weeks trying to decipher which offensive and defensive systems will be the best fit for a team packed with relative rookies.
The 18th year head coach presides over a squad that lost nine offensive starters and 10 defensive starters from a year ago.
“We lost 12 seniors from a year ago,” Ange said Wednesday at Jamesville High School. “We have our quarterback back and our center back, but everybody else is new.”
Junior JaPaul Whitehurst will once again take the snaps for Jamesville as he looks to build on a promising rookie season in which he guided the Bullets to second place in the Tideland Conference and a trip to the 1-A playoffs. Other than the athletic Whitehurst, seniors Anthony Copeland and Ethan Gurganis will be asked to provide leadership during the 2009 campaign.
Ange, who usually gets a turnout of only 20-30 players, said that losing half his team in a year is a challenge that a lot of 1-A teams have to deal with regularly. The Bullets coach also said he was pleased to have 28 kids show up for practice this week.
“It’s just something a small school deals with every year,” Ange said. “I’m happy with the number of kids we got this year, though when you lose 12 seniors and can comeback with 28 kids, I’m pleased with it.”
With a whole new group of athletes on both sides of the ball, Ange said he will tinker with various offenses and would consider deviating from the more traditional I and pro-sets that have defined the offense in recent years.
“We are experimenting. We have our quarterback back, but we got new running backs and new receivers,” Ange said. “We are open to a lot of new ideas, and we are not putting our eggs in any one particular basket.”
The team may lack in seniors, but Ange said having a crop of freshman and sophomores has brought a lot of positive energy to practice.
“It’s good that we have a lot of enthusiasm; that brings something to the team,” Ange said. “The attitude has been terrific. I don’t know if it because they don’t know any better or what, but the attitude has been really good.”
On the other side of the ball, the Bullets will mix and match packages and formations until they find the right fit.
“It’s the same as it is with the offense,” Ange said. “We got a lot of linebackers, but we have to find some linebacker/defensive end types that can be studs. We will know more about the defense once we are allowed to put the pads on.”
The Bullets have a bye the first week of the season, and they will need it as they will kick off their season on the road against perennial powerhouse Plymouth on Aug. 28.