FDA varsity coaches will run JV team

Published 12:36 pm Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fort Dale head coach James “Speed” Sampley is taking a different approach with the school’s junior varsity squad this season: he’s going to be coaching them.

Sampley said all Fort Dale varsity coaches will be heavily involved in the JV team this season. Sampley and FDA defensive coordinator Daniel Autrey will implement both the offensive and defensive plays for the JV and spend game nights in the booth on headsets. The other assistant coaches will be on the field with the team.

“Our reasoning behind this is that these kids are the future or our program,” said Sampley. “And we need to give them the same attention that we give our varsity kids.”

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FDA has 37 players out for JV this season, grades seventh through ninth. Sampley said the JV team spent most of the offseason following the same workout regiment as varsity.

“They all worked really hard this summer and I’ve been really, really impressed with their effort,” he said. “It’s been motivational for them because all of a sudden they can say, ‘hey, we’re doing the same thing as varsity.’”

Chip Taylor is the JV Eagles quarterback. Taylor suffered a shoulder injury in the offseason, but has recovered and is throwing the football.

“We’re probably going to throw he football a lot more in JV than we have in the past,” said Sampley. “Now, we’re not going to throw it just to be throwing it. We’ve got to find the right situations to throw it in.”

Taylor will also be the lone ninth grader to dress with the varsity team, said Sampley. Hunter Armstrong is starting quarterback for the varsity Eagles, but his lone backup is sophomore Ryan Taylor.

“Believe it or not I have seen four quarterbacks knocked out of a game, so I needed one more to give us some depth,” said Sampley. “But I don’t like to dress the ninth grade kids out with the varsity because when they get to the ninth grade they should have a chance to enjoy what they’ve accomplished as a JV player.”

Ryan Burkett will start at tailback and Chase Whiddon at fullback, but Sampley said coaches are still working to determine defensive starters before the JV squad’s first game on Aug. 31 at against Edgewood. Defense, he said, would be given extra attention.

“It’s true at any level of football, but if you’re really good on defense in junior varsity, you’ve got a good chance of winning because JV games are only eight minute quarters,” said Sampley. “