Timberland youth movement begins
It happens to every high school football program. Seniors graduate, sometimes a lot of seniors, and the team is left with a lot of youngsters to fill their cleats. It’s happening this football season at Timberland.
“It’s hard to believe how young we are,” said Coach Art Craig. “We could very well be starting seven sophomores on defense come fall.”
The Wolves are taking part in 7 on 7 competition this summer, something Craig took steps to avoid in the past.
The drills “never really helped us in the past because we never threw the ball that much for it to be of much help,” Craig said. “This year we’re taking part just to compete because we’re so young.”
Past quarterbacks like Cody Craig and Taylor Elizondo could throw the ball but often didn’t have to because of the Timberland running game. This year, a workhorse running back has yet to emerge so the Wolves will air it out a little more.
“We’re going to throw the ball more this year,” Craig said. “We don’t have a choice really but to throw the ball. Will we throw it 35 times a game? No, but we are going to put the ball in the air more this year.”
Junior Ryan Hood gets the nod under center and has impressed Craig with his arm so far this summer.
“Ryan has thrown the ball really well so far,” Craig said. “He’s made some great passes and he’s made some not so great passes, but the key that distinguishes good quarterbacks from great quarterbacks is how do you come back after making the bad pass, or having the bad series? Anybody can throw a good pass, but it’s how you come back after throwing a bad pass that’s the key. We have some athletes who can catch the ball.”
Hood will have a variety of targets to include Matt Gabel, Shamelle Williams and Wyatt Craig.
“Shamelle Williams will be hard to contain in the fall,” Craig said. “He’s electric on the field and will be hard to stop.”
Craig added that Gabel, who split time at quarterback and receiver in 2012 can make plays with his athleticism: “He’s a great athlete and can make things happen wherever he lines up.”
Craig’s youngest son, Wyatt, standing 6’4” and lining up at tight end, could be a factor in Timberland’s passing game. “He catches the ball well,” Craig said. “In our first seven-on-seven he caught three passes for touchdowns.”
Craig also mentioned junior Roger Rembert, a newcomer to football who has practiced well.
“Roger Rembert is a new face, a junior who just came out and caught everyone’s eye,” the coach said. “He stands 6-2, weighs around 190 pounds and has really caught on this summer. He turned out to be a nice surprise.”
Timberland will host Cane Bay and Woodland in seven-on-seven scrimmages in the final weeks of June before shutting it down for the summer until fall practice begins the first week of August.
The Wolves kick off the 2013 season on Aug. 23 against former region foe Manning.