In­fu­sion of youth breeds com­pe­ti­tion for Moun­ties

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL -

ROGERS — The Moun­ties spent most of the open­ing week of prac­tice fo­cus­ing on fun­da­men­tals, but that’s nec­es­sary with just six re­turn­ing starters and a large num­ber sopho­mores push­ing for play­ing time, coach Mike Loyd said.

“The foot­ball field doesn’t care how young you are,” Loyd said. “It’s gonna re­spond to how tough you are and what kind of will and de­ter­mi­na­tion you have. We’ve got 18 or 19 kids that have not played on Fri­day night. Fun­da­men­tals are still the most im­por­tant thing out­side of just be­ing a com­peti­tor.”

Loyd praised the work of sev­eral sopho­mores: Re­ceivers Nathan Hahn and Ma­son Ross, and line­men RJ Long and Eli­jah Bigham.

“The tempo picked up when they got in there es­pe­cially Ma­son and Nathan Hahn,” Loyd said. “Se­niors Collin McWhorter, Hunter Hawkins and An­drew McG­lynn were good lead­ers. We’re ex­cited about the Dakes — Gar­rett and Tan­ner — com­ing out. Gar­rett’s a big 6-4, 6-5 frame who can run and jump.”

Loyd also pointed out the com­pe­ti­tion for start­ing spots are more in­tense than a year ago.

“It’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent now that we’ve got two, three and four deep in some spots,” Loyd said. “Last year, if you’re walk­ing around and had a heart­beat and you ran out here, you prob­a­bly got a chance. It’s ex­cit­ing times for Rogers. Even this ninth-grade group is re­ally com­pet­i­tive.”

Rogers will shift prac­tice from the morn­ing to 7-9 p.m. in the even­ing this week with a con­trolled scrim­mage sched­uled for Fri­day even­ing.

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