WC takes committee approach to running| [8/18/06]
Published 12:00 am Friday, August 18, 2006
After nearly three weeks of preseason practice, Warren Central still has not found a clear-cut first-string tailback.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Michael Holt, Wade Carter and Colin Carvey have all staked a claim to the starting job, and all three are being worked into the rotation, WC head coach Curtis Brewer said. The three backs all give the running game some punch and will provide fresh legs during the early part of the season, when the heat of summer is still felt.
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“I hope it turns out to be a situation where you have two sets of backs throughout the season. Maybe even at quarterback. And you can use them regularly,” Brewer said. “The depth you have at tailback and fullback is not only a blessing early, but you’ve got to have somebody when somebody gets hurt. The more they play, the more you have somebody with experience you can put in there.”
WC’s tailback situation became unsettled when last year’s top rusher, Carleton Davis, graduated. Both Holt and Carvey saw playing time in a supporting role last season and were expected to compete for the starting job this year. Holt was the Vikings’ second-leading rusher in 2005 with 302 yards and five touchdowns. Carvey gained 61 yards on only 15 carries.
When Carter, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior, returned to WC after two years in North Carolina, it added another talented back to the mix.
So instead of having them slug it out for a limited number of carries, Brewer decided to divide the playing time equally. So far, it’s been a success.
“(Holt) has helped me, because he makes me work harder. And I know I make him work harder,” Carter said. “I know together, we’re going to win.”
Tailback isn’t the only skill position where the Vikings plan to use the platoon system, Brewer added. Vic Tyrone and Travis Bell will also split time at fullback. Tyrone, a senior who is entering his second season as a starter, saw the wisdom in the move.
“Nowadays, with the game the way it is, you have to have fresh legs. You do get winded. It’s good to be deep at that position,” said Tyrone, who rushed for 214 yards and five TDs in 2005. “Everybody’s just in the pipe. We’re just rotating them in and out so everybody can get a feel for playing with everybody else, so no matter who’s in everybody is comfortable in the backfield.”
At quarterback, Jakoby Johnson, Keaton Sanders and Joel Forbes may all divvy up the quarterbacking duties.
Johnson, a junior, will get the starting nod over sophomores Sanders and Forbes for the season opener against Memphis Kirby, Brewer said.
“Jakoby is ahead of them because of his athletic ability, age and experience. Keaton and Joel are doing a good job, but it’s a pretty big deal for a sophomore to jump out there on it,” Brewer said. “They’ve done it, and they can do it. But it’s Jakoby’s until they take it from him.”