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HCHS ready for ’05

AHOSKIE – Year one for coach Greg Watford: Trip to Eastern State Championships.

Year two: officially underway.

Watford’s Hertford County Bears started practice last week and are looking to improve on last year’s playoff runs by gaining experience and filling in holes.

With plenty of returning players, experience is something that HCHS has – especially in the offensive skill positions and the defensive front seven.

&uot;It’s still real early, but the returning guys are looking pretty good,&uot; Watford said. &uot;Things are happening fast for the young guys but we’re starting to see some breakthroughs.&uot;

Watford noted that the holes that need to be filled early are the offensive line and the defensive secondary – both of which are inexperienced coming into the initial practices.

&uot;Those are definitely areas that we’re working hard on,&uot; Watford said. &uot;We’re young there but we have a lot of talent with guys like Lamar Monger, Dedrick Fleetwood, Darrin Everett and plenty more.&uot;

Assistant Head Coach Paul Moore will be in charge of acclimating the line to the enhanced style of play of varsity football.

&uot;We have great athletes and teams are starting to see that we have plenty of talent,&uot; Moore said. &uot;We just need to speed up the learning process for our line.&uot;

With a front seven intact from last season, including standout defensive linemen Tydreke Powell and linebacker Joel Britt, Watford noted that the defense will be the team’s strong point.

&uot;Defensively we’re looking good, we have a lot of talented young people to support the guys we already have up front,&uot; Watford said.

Watford noted he has been most impressed by the leadership shown early by the players that already know the system.

&uot;The leadership from the returning players has been great,&uot; Watford said. &uot;They have been good role models already, and if that keeps up, it bodes well for the season.&uot;

Hertford County will have their first scrimmage of the season Friday against Northampton County High School – East at 7 p.m. on the Bears’ home turf. Watford, the other coaches and the public will be able to get their first glimpse at the new offensive line and how the returning players will respond this year – this time against an old rival in the Rams.

&uot;It’d be great to get that rivalry going again,&uot; Watford said. &uot;A lot of our guys are already close with them because they lift weights together in the off-season.

&uot;The band will be out here for the game and we’re hoping to have a real good showing for our first scrimmage,&uot; he closed.