High School Football - Cougars, No worries ... yet
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 2, 2010 1:46 PM
Eric Reid isn't quite ready to hit the panic button. The Cougars have started a season 0-2 for the first time in Reid's four-year tenure as Goldsboro's head football coach.
Goldsboro's starting quarterback Corteiz Sprangle continues to recover from a deep bruise in his shoulder and Reid described Sprangle's status as "day-to-day."
The ongoing concerns with the Cougars' offensive line and secondary along with turnovers and penalty issues arose throughout last week's loss to Eastern Wayne. Goldsboro lost three fumbles against the Warriors and drew 14 penalties for a total of 109 yards.
Yet, in the face of adversity Reid remains upbeat and positive.
"After the game on Friday night I just tried to relay to the team that we have to work on ways to eliminate mistakes," said Reid. "One loss does not dictate our season. I'm not worried. Any loss is disheartening, but I told the kids everything happens for a reason.
"You're going to get tested. That's what the game is all about is getting through adversity and making changes on the run."
In their first two games, the Cougars' defense has surrendered 429 yards through the air and three touchdowns. Eastern Wayne quarterback Avner Clark threw for 163 yards and a touchdown against Goldsboro last week. Five of Clark's seven completions went for 20 yards or more.
Reid and his coaching staff have worked to instill confidence into their secondary that has only one returning starter -- senior Michael Sykes.
"There's only so much you can do scheme wise," said Reid. "It all comes down to how you perform. We don't have the confidence we need right now. The only way to get confidence is to keep giving them reps in practice. We're still changing people out and trying to find a group that fits."
Goldsboro entered the 2009 season with an inexperienced offensive line lacking in chemistry. Reid watched patiently and by the end of the season those young linemen developed into a cohesive group capable of dominating opposing defenses.
A year later, Reid expected more consistent play from his veteran offensive line. The Cougars had 14 plays for negative yardage against Eastern Wayne as the Warriors blitzed frequently and got consistent push up the middle.
"Our offensive linemen worked hard over the summer," said Reid. "Right now it seems like they're doing more thinking than reacting. A couple of times against Eastern Wayne they locked on to the man in front of them not realizing we're blocking an area and not a man."
Goldsboro entertains East Carteret on Friday night. Reid stressed the importance of the Cougars building confidence through a positive start.
"From a mental standpoint it's very important," said Reid. "They may look like grown men, but we're dealing with children and 90 percent of what they do is mental. If we have a positive first half or first drive and our confidence is boosted that will make them play a lot better.
"It will open up our schemes on offense and defense and make things go smoother."