SA sets hopes on a little experience

Published 9:15 am Friday, August 28, 2009

COURTLAND—After breaking in a young team last year, Southampton Academy hopes to put a year of experience under its belt and make the state playoffs.

Head coach Dale Marks said key players for SA this year will be Richard Poland (OT/DE), Jacob Rose (FB/OLB), Ryan Bakay (DT/OG), John Hinkle (WB/MLB), David Bogese (WB/OLB), Marlin McClelland (WB/S), Wesley Barnes (WB/QB/CB), Blake Drewry (QB/OE/CB), Will Edwards (OE/DE), Devin Reyes (OE/CB), Reed Felts (OT/DT), Thomas Taylor (OG/NT), Storm Gray (C/DT), Zachary Ramsey( C), Will Lambdin (OG/DE) and Matthew Thorpe (OT/DL).

Although the team is a year older, Marks said the Raiders still do not have a lot of depth.

“When you look at the lack of depth we have there’s nobody that we’re going to walk on the field and just say we’ve got an easy win tonight,” Marks said. “We have had a very good first two weeks of practice. The players’ attitudes have been very good. We’ve come into camp in better shape then what we’ve been in the past.

“We’re going to have a lot of players that are going to be on the field a long time. We just don’t have a lot of guys that we can put in and sub for us so their going to have to play a whole lot of plays and that takes its toll on the game and the course of the season,” Marks added. “Injuries are going to be key just like every year so hopefully we can stay away from injuries to key players. I think we’ve got a good mix of players who have learned several positions to mix some people in if we do have injuries.”

Marks said the goal for the Raiders is to try to win the Virginia Commonwealth Conference and make the state playoffs.

“Our goals are no different this year then what they have been. When you look at the fact that we only lost two seniors last year, we are bringing basically everybody back expect for one player that was pretty much an impact player for us last year and is not on the squad this year,” Marks said. “I think we’re going to put a good first squad on the field, and hopefully we’re going to get the job done.”