GHS trying to find leaders to replace seniors

Published 9:32 pm Thursday, August 12, 2010

After last year’s 11-1 season, Greenville High School had to say goodbye to twenty-two seniors, fifteen of which were starters.

Now, with only two starters returning on defense, coach Ben Blackmon said they are going through some “growing pains.”

“We’ve got a lot of kids on the field that have been forced into new positions,” Blackmon said. “It’s just causing them to grow up and mature that much faster.”

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Recreating the 11-1 season, Blackmon said, will be a matter of recapturing the drive and leadership of last year’s senior class.

“We have a lot of guys returning that may not have been starters last year but routinely subbed in for our starting lineup,” Blackmon said. “I think we have great potential as far as athletes are concerned.”

Kent Riley, a sophomore, will be starting at quarterback, Blackmon said.

“He’s really talented for a sophomore,” Blackmon said. “He hasn’t given us the kind of senior leadership that Ryan Smith did last year, but that will come. He’s been leading them about as well as you can expect of a sophomore.”

Blackmon said Riley’s been cutting down on his mistakes and learning from them.

Michael Watts, Harper Vinson and Brandon Smith will add depth to the Tigers quarterback position.

With individual positions getting set for the season, the focus has turned to getting the team to work as a unit.

“I want to see us pull together like a team and have a lot of team cohesiveness,” Blackmon said.