James to return Friday

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Tigers’ daily practice session offered a slightly different look Tuesday as sophomore fullback DaMarcus James participated in his first full-speed practice since an injury forced him out of action.

Demopolis, which was led by senior Jacob Kerby’s 93-yard effort last week against Wetumpka, expects to have its full complement of backs for the first time when it hosts Chilton County Friday night.

“I think it will make our offense stronger and our defense stronger because you had Jacob going both ways and he’ll get a rest on both sides of the ball now,” senior Brian Taylor of the anticipated impact of James’ return to the Demopolis lineup.

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“That’s a great boost. It should be a great addition to our offense,” junior Anthony Hardy said.

While some of James’ teammates expressed their excitement about his return, DHS head coach Tom Causey said his team will not fully grasp the impact of the sophomore back’s return until Friday.

“I think we’ve talked so much about team that they’re not going to notice it until game time,” Causey said.

Following Friday’s season-opening loss in which the Tigers led until just over two minutes remained in the game, Causey’s team went back to work Monday.

“Our team came together Monday and they understand now what it takes to bounce back from a loss,” the head coach said.

As the week goes on, the Tigers will focus a portion of their practice looking to hone the passing game. Senior quarterback Rick Boone struggled for stretches against Wetumpka, going a paltry 4-for-18 through the air in the contest.

“We talked about being mature about what we did and didn’t do Friday night,” Causey said of his conversations with his first team signal-caller. “Our mistakes are a lot more magnified at that position than they are at some others.”

The Tigers anticipate another full practice today in preparation for Chilton County, a team they defeated 27-14 last season.

“Big game. We’re practicing good everyday. Home opener. Region opener. We plan to give our fans a good game,” Hardy said of the team’s focus this week.

“I think the most important thing about Friday is for us to come out and play well,” Causey said. “Every game is huge. But it is a lot more important with those region games because there’s playoff implications.”