Football preview: Princeton High
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 21, 2008 1:35 PM
There are many traits in life that can not be either counted, sorted or categorized. Among them are loyalty and experience.
When the Princeton take the field for its 2008 season opener Friday against county rival South Johnston, those two attributes should show immediately.
Head coach Russell Williamson knows how far his program has come and beginning with this year's senior class, he sees where it's going.
"This is the first group of varsity players that played on our junior varsity team," Williamson said as he sorted uniforms before a recent practice. "The guys that are seniors now played JV as sophomores and the juniors this season were on the JV as freshmen."
The ability to develop at a more competitive level is paying dividends through improved varsity numbers and more depth on the roster.
"The junior varsity is a place where guys can work on things and learn the system," said Williamson. "We are certainly a lot farther along at this point in the year than we have ever been."
A look at the varsity roster shows 31 players listed, with just two underclassmen. The junior class is deep and talented, which should help the Dawgs build on their fall practice success.
"We have 21 guys back from last years team," said Williamson. "And we have 17 juniors on the roster which says a lot about the growth we've experienced.
"When I got here, the first couple of seasons, it would be nothing to have 8-10 sophomores and even a handful of freshman on the varsity, but now we are much deeper."
Among the 11th graders taking the field will be quarterback Dylan Myers. The young signal caller possesses a skill set that Williamson believes could make him a player to watch.
"Dylan knows what to do and he should be able to lead this offense," Williamson said. "We are a little thin behind him on the depth chart with a couple of younger guys trying to learn the ropes. But if he stays healthy we should be fine."
One luxury that Myers will have going into week one is a large pool of receivers and running backs at his disposal.
Phillip and Luke Mitchell, Mike Maus, T.J. Wilson, Patrick Jacobs and Dillon Daughtry will make up the receiving corps. It's a group that Williamson hopes will help balance the team's offensive play calling.
"That is probably our deepest group right there," said Williamson. "All of those guys have good hands. They can run and they know the offense.
"We need to work on our blocking on the outside, but that is something that they will get better at."
Kwame Corprew and Jeremy Carmichael will be splitting time in the backfield. Benton Myers and Ben Mitchell have taken snaps at fullback in practice.
"With this many guys all trying to get on the field there is going to be competition," said Williams. "But at the same time, I think the kids all understand that it is going to take all 31 of them for us to be successful.
"Not to many guys are going to be playing both sides of the ball, so at some point everyone will have to be ready."
With several teams in the Carolina 1-A Conference going through serious transitions, Williamson believes his team will be competitive with everyone in the league.
"North Duplin had a strong team last year, and a strong junior varsity so I expect them to be tough," said Williamson. "But all-in-all, I think this year the teams will be a lot more even and the games should all be very competitive."
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