GMS has skills: backs and receivers return

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, August 19, 2010

Skill players will lead Greenville Middle School this season, said head coach Josh McLendon.

Quarterback Jerome Watkins started as a seventh grader last season, said McLendon. The southpaw is familiar with the Tigers’ spread offensive scheme and has matured greatly in just a year away, said the head coach.

“We’re looking for big things from him,” said McLendon. “He throws the ball with such a natural spiral for a left-handed quarterback. The big thing about having all of our skill players back is we don’t have to teach them the offense and we’re able to add a few more wrinkles into it. That’s good for us.”

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Running backs will be Alyric Posey and Devonte Posey. The two Poseys and Watkins will key Greenville’s attack, said McLendon.

On the offensive line the Tigers are replacing several starters, but McLendon said the new players are strong upfront.

And they possess one other intangible, he said:

“They’re all straight A students,” he said.

The Tigers started working in January for the season, which starts next Thursday night at Millbrook.

Middle school football has evolved through the years and now coaches view it as a “feeder” program for varsity football programs. The foundation for a strong varsity team is usually laid in the middle school, where coaches like McLendon work hand-in-hand with varsity coaches.

“It look at us almost like a JUCO program,” he said. “We get these kids for two years and then they’re off to high school.”

McLendon has a roster of 41 players, but said the middle school could dress out twice that number. However, the program only has a limited amount of helmets and other protective equipment available, he said.

GMS will actually field both a seventh and eighth grade squad. The seventh graders will play a game at 5:30 p.m. against Millbrook before the eighth graders take the field.

Running back Dequarious Peterson and quarterback Jaquan Lewis will lead the seventh grade offense. Defensive end Marlon Davidson heads up the defense.