HCHS opens season at Gates

Published 9:25 am Thursday, August 20, 2009

GATESVILLE – The gridiron season gets started with a matchup of two local squads here Friday night.

Hertford County High School pays a visit to Gates County High School for a non-conference football contest at 7:30 p.m. The game will mark the inaugural contest for HCHS skipper Scott Privott, who is entering his first season at the helm of the Bears.

As the Bears have prepared for their trip, Privott said his team was doing well in practice.

“Practice has gone well this week,” he said. “The transition from conditioning to game preparation has gone smoothly.”

The coach said special teams had begun taking more center stage as game-time draws near and that he was pleased with the progress they were making.

“I’m happy with what we’ve seen this week in special teams,” he said. “I think Brandon Warren is doing a good job and we’re working hard together as a unit.”

The Bears were participants in two scrimmages in the past seven days and Privott said both of those were helping as his team gets ready for the opener.

“The scrimmages were helpful, especially the one Saturday,” Privott said. “We were able to do a goal line challenge and that helped our kids prepare for the upcoming season. We also got more game-like situations.

“We got off to a slow start, but after we woke up, we played pretty well,” he added.

Turning his attention to the Red Barons, Privott said he believed the Gates County squad would be a challenge.

“They like a little more power football,” he said. “They’re going to line up in the I-formation and come at us. Their best play against us was the counter, so we’ve been working on that.”

As for the Bears, Privott said he was comfortable, but that he knew there was still plenty of work to be done.

For his team to be successful, he said it is important that quarterback Antonio Vaughan has a good start to the season.

“As Antonio goes, so we go,” Privott said. “He needs to get out of the gate early.”

The offensive line is a key for the Bears as they are replacing all five starters from a year ago. So far, the coach said, they have done well.

“They’re coming along,” he said. “We have some strides to make, but theyr’e finally becoming aggressive. We need to stay on our blocks longer, but we’re making good contact.”

Defensively, the coach is counting on linebackers Ron Gatling, Cedric Bland and Markee White to key the defensive effort.

He said the Bears were ready to line up and play a game after weeks of practicing.

“We’re ready to get started,” he said. “We’re ready to play and put some of what we’ve learned to practice in a game.”

As for making his debut as a varsity coach, Privott said he wasn’t nervous now, but thought he would be by the time Friday rolls around.

“I’m at ease right now, but I’ll probably be nervous by the time game day arrives,” he said. “At this point, I’m worried about making sure we get our practice sessions in and get ready for what we need to do.”