Bears are class of ‘Preview’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 12, 2006

AHOSKIE – During a break in the action at Thursday’s Basnight Pigskin Preview, Hertford High School head football coach Greg Watford could be overheard talking to some of his players.

&uot;Control yourselves out there,&uot; Watford said to his team. &uot;I’m proud of you.&uot;

From what Watford’s Bears displayed against several teams who traveled here for this preseason tune-up, He had every reason to be proud and optimistic.

The Bears finished with a record of 4-2 in the Northern Coastal Conference last year, and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

This year’s squad looks ready to run circles around their opponents, literally.

The Bears’ offensive seemed to be ahead the defense, as the clich\u00E9 &uot;speed kills&uot; should be the slogan for Watford and company.

After shaking off some early jitters, Hertford County had no problem moving the ball downfield, especially with their ground game.

The Bears are big, strong, fast and extremely confident as evidenced by the way even the slightest seam or crack in the defensive posture of their opponents led to huge ground gains.

The Bears’ passing game took a little while to get warmed up, but the home team got fired up after a shoving match with members of the Northwest Halifax squad, and the precision of their passing game elevated right along with their adrenaline.

Defense appears to be the one area of concern for the Bears, but it’s not due to a lack of talent, but rather execution.

Several times the Bears appeared a step slow reacting to the offensive sets they faced.

Watford’s team appeared to be running a 3-4 defense with an extra linebacker, which often gave opposing offensive linemen easier targets to block.

The Bears were clearly the creme de la creme on Thursday however, and if this week’s showing is any indication of their season, it could be a long season for the Bears, long as in playoff run.