Thursday, August 11, 2004

Patriots play in jamboree Thursday

By BARRY BURLESON
Editor

They’re young; they’re small in numbers; but Wade Griffin likes his 2005 edition of the Marshall Academy football Patriots.

“We’re green,” said the second year head coach, “but overall I’m pleased with what I’ve seen thus far.”

He got a good look at his team in a 60-play scrimmage against Strider Friday morning.

“We did some good things,” Griffin said. “I was pleased with where we are as far as being in shape. As the scrimmage went along, we became more productive.

“The thing I like a lot is when you ask this group to do something, they respond, ‘yes, sir.’ ”

There are only 15 varsity level players, and most of those are sophomores. Due to the low numbers, some ninth graders may play on both varsity and junior high, being limited to six quarters of football per week, he said.

“We’re just real young,” Griffin said. “Most practices have consisted of a lot of individual work. We’re doing a lot of teaching and blending that with conditioning.”

He will get an even better look at his Patriots Thursday when they travel to Kirk Academy in Grenada for the annual District 1-AA Jamboree. Marshall plays North Delta at 6 p.m. and Kirk at 7:30 p.m.

“I hope we can improve physically and mentally,” Griffin said. “How are we going to apply what we have taught? We’ve got to win at the line of scrimmage, but at the same time we have to grow up some.”

At practice this week, he said the coaches will start putting in more of their defensive and offensive schemes and “preparing for Rossville in the back of our minds.”

The Patriots kick off the regular season Friday night, Aug. 19, at home against Rossville Academy from neighboring Tennessee.

“We have some good-looking kids,” Griffin said. “I have to be pleased with the direction we’re going; it’s all positive.”

As usual, the schedule will be challenging, with the likes of Magnolia Heights, Indianola, Lee (MS) and North Delta.

“There are a lot of bears waiting on us,” he said. “We’re demanding a lot out of these kids, holding them accountable. I admire their work ethic. Hopefully it will pay off.”

Patriot fans are urged to buy their tickets for the jamboree in advance for $5 each at Marshall Academy. Advance ticket sales will benefit MA. Tickets at the gate will be $5 for students and $6 for adults.


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