Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Cane Bay Cobras advanced to the playoffs in their first football season at the Class AAAA level and just wrapped up spring practice as they eye their second season just a few months away in the state’s top classification.
“We’ve got a lot of good young kids coming up from the B-Team and some guys that have grown a lot and improved a lot since last season,” Cane Bay coach Russell Zehr said. “I think we have the ingredients to be pretty good. It’s a matter of how hard they’re willing to work in the summer. They’ve got to pay their dues, get stronger and faster for us to have a chance to compete.”
Last fall, the Cobras went 6-6 after losing to South Pointe in the opening round of the playoffs. Every Cane Bay victory was by 11 points or less last season. Five were by single digits.
“That’s the biggest difference between Class AAA and Class AAAA,” Zehr said. “Not only are you playing bigger schools every week, it’s a grind. Every team is good. That’s Class AAAA football. Last year, there was never a game we could rest our starters in the fourth quarter.”
Zehr said his team has 30 weightlifting days over the summer and all the players in the program must have at least 20 workouts to come out in the fall. Twenty-five workouts earn a player his name on the back of the jersey.
“We need them all to come in ready to go and in shape,” Zehr said.
The primary areas of concern moving forward are spots in the trenches on both sides of the line. The Cobras have only two starters returning on the offensive front (center Keith Anderson and tackle Nate Amico) and there are no starters returning on the defensive front.
“We even lost our backup guys (on the DL),” Zehr said.
On offense, the Cobras have experienced players returning in quarterback Devin Kilgore and Ramonte Frasier. Wide receivers Devin Dingle and Rashad Andrews are expected to contribute too.
On defense, linebacker Matt Rudy is the top tackler returning. Defensive back Tracy Gilliard is another starter returning.
“We don’t have a lot of size but we probably have a little more team speed than last year,” Zehr said. “We’ve got the opportunity to put an athletic group out there.”