Shortt is upbeat about this year's team
by Rip Donovan
Special to The Star
Aug 15, 2013 | 788 views |  0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There’ll be a lot at stake when the Cleburne County Tigers hold their full-scale intra-squad scrimmage Friday. Coach Michael Shortt said the scrimmage, slated to start about 6:30 p.m., is open to the public and will include both five-man and seven-man officiating crews. The Tigers have conducted 25-play to 30-play scrimmages within their regular practice sessions but not on the scale Shortt expects Friday.

“We’re going to work on all phases of the game. We’re going to have a kicking game scrimmage, overtime, anything that may happen in a game we’re going to work on it with our officials,” Shortt said. “We’ll do the best on the best the best we can.”

Friday’s scrimmage action should go a long way toward determining the playing rotations on both offense and defense for the coming season. Projected starters and the No. 2 players at each position will begin to get the bulk of the practice work.

“Everybody’s competing for a job but once Friday gets here we’ve got to start getting those No. 1s and No. 2s more reps,” Shortt said.

Rain has shortened several practices and made for muddy days at other times. Lightning has once again played havoc with L.E. Bell Field’s lights and scoreboard. Injuries have cut into practice time, too.

“I do know I’ve got to get some people healthy,” Shortt said prior to Wednesday’s practice. “Some of them have been injured since the Piedmont camp. “

Shortt said Jeremiah McLeroy, a two-year starter at safety who is also projected to start at wide receiver, hasn‘t been on the field for even a single snap of practice time due to injury. Two linemen and two linebackers, one of whom is also a potential offensive lineman, are also nursing injuries.

“Right now, we’re really swapping some people around,” Shortt said. “They’re giving effort. It’s just that they’ve got to learn their positions. … I guess the silver lining in that is it’s really forcing us to work on some younger kids. Maybe when they get back we’ll have more depth. I guess it’s kind of made us have to work on some depth.”

Despite the rash of injuries, Shortt remains upbeat about his team’s prospects.

“It’s going to be all right eventually,” he said. “It’s just frustrating right now, knowing that you’ve got several linemen who aren’t getting any reps at all. They’re just sitting over there watching, wanting to be out there but they can’t right now. I think once we get all those guys out there we’ll be okay but we’ve got to get them out there.”
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Shortt is upbeat about this year's team by Rip Donovan
Special to The Star

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