Jeffreys: Red Bay has players to be competitive in 2011
RED BAY – Red Bay football coach Dale Jeffreys said there is quite a bit of reason for fans to get excited about the Tigers’2011 season.
The team has a starting quarterback with two previous years of starting experience and the defense will be in the second year of a system that put up impressive numbers in 2010.
But what has Jeffreys most excited is that the Tigers could have been 9-1 during the regular season and this season he feels Red Bay has the personnel to reach that mark.
“Last year we were four plays away from finishing 9-1,” Jeffreys said. “We have a lot more playmakers this year who can make those plays.”
In 2010 the Tigers finished the regular season with a 5-5 record overall and a 4-3 record in region play. Four of Red Bay’s losses — Lexington, Colbert Heights, Sulligent and Marion County — were by seven points or less.
Jeffreys said one of the areas the Tigers need to improve on the most from last season is reducing turnovers.
“We can’t make mistakes and turn the ball over,” Jeffreys said. “That is what killed us last year.”
While the Tigers lost a couple of running backs, there are several experienced players returning to the offense.
Hunter Childers will be quarterbacking Red Bay for the third straight season while junior Matt Bellue will be the feature running back. Childers will have a trio of speedy receivers to throw to in Dmitri Humphrey, Taylor Ozbirn and Austin Humphries.
Seniors Ethan Blanton and Chance Wooten will anchor the offensive line.
Defensively, senior Bradley Patterson and Belue will give Red Bay a pair of strong defense ends. The linebacking corps is also experienced with juniors Steven Wood and Justin Payne along with senior Kyle Robbins.
Humphrey and Ozbirn will also play in the secondary for the Tigers.
One thing Jeffreys is encountering is a team with fewer players, but he said unlike previous seasons, more players would get experience.
That means there will be fewer players used both on offense and defense. It also means there will be a learning curve as the new players adjust to life at the varsity level.
“We’re playing more kids, who have been playing since they were younger,” Jeffreys said. “We are looking forward to seeing what they can do.”