2017-05-19 / Sports

....Are you ready for some

....Spring football games?
By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Sports Editor

During the 2016 season, the Gaffney High offense averaged nearly 30 points a game.

That group, which featured quarterback Tyshun Sarratt, who threw for more than 200 yards a game, and running back Cam Rice, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards despite missing four games, returns nearly intact this season.

Gaffney coach Dan Jones believes the offense can be just as explosive this season.

If the offensive line gells.

The coaching staff will get a clearer picture on just how strong that line will be when the Indians put a bow on spring practice with today’s Black and Gold Spring Game at The Reservation.

With Jack Coleman out because of injury, John Fitzpatrick has put together a solid spring at right guard.

Injuries also have struck the wideout corps with Duke commit Dennis Smith and Josh Fair sidelined.

However, their absence has allowed Hunter Bullock, Reggie Harris, Terry Littlejohn, Myell White and Tomario Phillips to see more action, Jones said.

Cam Rice is back to run behind the offensive line. Rice put together an impressive season despite missing four games.

He’ll be backed up by jayvee running back Ray Ray Johnson and heralded

Kelvin “Peanut” Kirby, who led the ninthgrade team to an unbeaten season.

Not unexpectedly, Jones said the inexperienced Kirby has shown flashes but needs to improve on his pass protection.

The spring game will feature the No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense against the No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense.

Rising sophomore Caden Richards will take snaps under center for the No. 2 offense since jayvee quarterback Stan Ellis has been moved to cornerback to plug the hole created by the transfer of Division I prospect Ty’ron Hopper.

The defense is changing from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 in hopes of getting more speed on the field with four linebackers.

Plus, there is a shortage of experienced linemen with only strongman Hunter Decker back on the interior line.

Jones said he also wants to keep an eye on the secondary with two new starters at cornerback to go along with De’Andrei Thompson.

The linebacking crew will be lead by playmaker Quez Smith.

Jones said the kicking game also will get some work.

The game will begin at 6 p.m. and is expected to last about two hours.

Jones said he’ll be evaluating the players’ ability to carry out their assignmants.

It also is a chance to evaluate the progress made by some of the younger players.

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