Demopolis Jr. High football ready to get season underway

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2005

The players might be smaller. The execution might not be quite as razor sharp. The shoulder pads might weigh a lot less. But that doesn’t mean that the football players attending Demopolis Middle School aren’t just as competitive and don’t have the same goals in mind as the guys over at Demopolis High.

“We’re trying to do the same thing as the varsity: win every game we play,” says head coach Mark Cochran. “We’ve got sixty-something kids out here and that’s our goal.”

Getting to that goal might have been made somewhat more difficult by the arrival of hurricane Katrina. Cochran said last Wednesday that preparations for the season opener Tuesday night in Camden had been set back by days of practice lost to the storm

“We’re getting there. Because of the hurricane we’ve had the last several days off,” he says. “But we’re going to practice every day this week. We want to play, to go ahead and get one behind us.”

Cochran, in his first year at the helm of Demopolis junior high after former coach Chris Tangle accepted a position with the Marengo County school system, says that he’s pleased with the effort and development he’s seen in the practices he’s held so far.

“They’re working hard out here. Some are really starting to show up and surprise us,” he says. “We are deeper at some positions than others.”

One of those positions is the defensive line, where Cochran says of some of his players, “certain ones, we can’t even block them.” He added that he was happy with how his linebackers had looked in practice as well. Although the starting positions are very tentative at this point, Dremaine Sanders, Martez Jackson, and Kendall Raby could draw starting assignments on the defensive line in the Tigers’ 3-man front. In position for the linebacker slots are Fred Irby, Trey Jones, Michael Davis, and Tacory Jefferson. Jeremy Griffin and Kiandre Adams could be the corners with Jeremy Wallace and Anthony Hardy joining them in the secondary as safety and rover.

“The defense is far ahead of the offense, but that’s normal,” Cochran says of the group. “We’re doing some things that are new to them and it’s going to take some time.”

Offensively, Hardy and Wallace should see time at running back and quarterback, respectively. Jones could pull double-duty at running back while Larry Cobb and Adams fill out the skill positions at wide receiver. On the offensive line, Dustin Holley has the edge at center with Raby and Caleb Garrett playing tackle and Jermaine Sanders and Marcus Anderson lining up for now at guard.

Cochran says even if all the wrinkles aren’t ironed out, the team is ready to take the field for the first time.

“They want to play and beat on someone else for a while,” he says.

Cochran is joined on the staff by assistants Rodney Rowser, Leroy Harris, Bryan Bradley, and Bryan Sellers.