2010-08-12 / Sports

Friday Night Scrimmage To Serve As First Test For 2010 Clovers On Home Gridiron

Cloverdale Set To Host Linton Friday Night For Controlled Scrimmage
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

Cloverdale junior running back Zach Couse (left) attempts to run through the tackle of junior teammate Brian Dale during practice Tuesday afternoon. (Staff Photo) Cloverdale junior running back Zach Couse (left) attempts to run through the tackle of junior teammate Brian Dale during practice Tuesday afternoon. (Staff Photo) From underneath his faded black Clover sun visor, fourth-year head coach Kyle Winkler was pleased to see his upperclassmen taking charge and starting a drill at the beginning of practice Tuesday afternoon.

“We have a coach who’s at a doctor’s appointment and my kids are running the drill without me being up there. It’s nice that the seniors and captains can get it done without me being there,” Winkler said with a smile. “That’s always a confidence booster.”

Entering his fourth year at the helm, Winkler has grown with his senior class of six and is excited about his 15 freshmen, 11 more than his four in 2009.

“I’ve gained a lot more patience with the younger kids. My first year here I was really trying to stick to discipline and we worked on a lot of those basic things that I wanted as a head coach, just doing the simple things right,” Winkler noted. “Then with the athletes we had, they did the best they could, but we still had a lack of speed and size in certain spots. So my emphasis was to get the kids in the weight room, because we can get faster and we can get stronger. I can’t grow you from five-foot-six to six-foot tall, but we can help you grow in those other areas. Just how to run a practice when we need to go full-speed and get everything done properly. When a kid jumps off-sides, we know that’s a penalty in the game, so they know there will be a penalty for it in practice and I don’t have to say it anymore. The other kids are getting onto them about the corrections that need to be made. A lot of kids can finish what I’m saying after a few words to tell that kid what he messed up on and how to correct it. When they tell another kid how to correct it, it’s far better than me saying it, because they are seeing another player correcting them and they take that better a lot more some times.”

CHS head football coach Kyle Winkler enters his fourth year at the helm of the Clovers beginning this coming Friday when Cloverdale hosts Linton for a 7:00 p.m. scrimmage. (Staff Photo) CHS head football coach Kyle Winkler enters his fourth year at the helm of the Clovers beginning this coming Friday when Cloverdale hosts Linton for a 7:00 p.m. scrimmage. (Staff Photo) Cloverdale junior quarterback Jordan Brinkman delivers a pass to an open teammate down field during practice Tuesday afternoon at CHS. (Staff Photo) Cloverdale junior quarterback Jordan Brinkman delivers a pass to an open teammate down field during practice Tuesday afternoon at CHS. (Staff Photo) Despite a few replacements, Winkler noted the positive of returning several starters in 2010.

“We do have to replace a few key guys from the offensive line and at running back from last year,” Winkler said. “We have a lot of juniors who are stepping up and we have a couple of position changes for some guys so they can get more playing time. We have good depth in certain positions and we have good speed at both the running back and quarterback positions. We have two wide receivers who I entrust that if we’re going to throw them the ball that they are going to give me their best effort to get the ball and catch it.”

Cloverdale junior Tyler Howard attempts to take down junior running back Donavan Scisney during practice Tuesday. (Staff Photo) Cloverdale junior Tyler Howard attempts to take down junior running back Donavan Scisney during practice Tuesday. (Staff Photo) For the Clovers’ offense, junior quarterback Jordan Brinkman enters the season with confidence and poise.

“We have a lot of younger guys and freshmen this year; we’ve just got to keep everything positive as they’re learning the new roles,” Brinkman said. “We just need to know that they’re going to make mistakes, we’re all going to make mistakes, but you’ve got to keep everything positive, not tear them down. We’ll just build everybody up and keep it going from there.”

At the tailback position, fellow junior Donavan Schisney looks to capitalize on his speed and offseason muscle addition.

“Brinkman is a running back who happens to throw the ball and he loves to run the ball,” Winkler noted. “Scisney has grown up maturity wise and size wise. He’s dedicated himself since basketball season to hitting the weight room and actually pushing himself pretty hard. This summer, he was in there every single day and going as hard as he could, physically it shows. A lot of the smaller sophomores who are now juniors have hit that growth spurt. We have a solid senior class who are all starters and they can contribute to a very successful season this year.”

With just 24 players dressed for sectional competition in 2009, Winkler’s much happier with his current count of 37.

“We’re still trying to fill out some guys on the defensive line and at the linebacker position,” Winkler noted. “We’ve got a lot of young guys who are still learning and everything is coming really fast at them. It’s interesting to see some of them progress and some of them just kind of stay the same, because they may have a little injury and maybe aren’t trying to go full-speed. They aren’t realizing you have to full-speed on every single play or you are going to get hurt. We have a good, solid offensive line with some speed and size. Our skilled positions, I feel they are doing what they need to do. The freshman class has some size and numbers, but we have a few who are 115 pounds and need to grow some.”

Looking at the Clovers overall, senior captain linebacker Matt Hall is confident about his 2010 Cloverdale squad.

“We’re looking pretty strong, we have a lot of new guys coming into the program and we have some pretty strong numbers compared to the last few years,” Hall said. “We’re definitely a lot deeper than last year.”

Senior captain, running back and linebacker Josh Burdette sees a more tight-nit group in ‘10.

“We’ve added a few more pass plays than what we ran last year,” Burdette explained about the offense. “Everybody seems more together this year than the past few years, nobody is arguing like we’ve had before. It makes everything run a lot smoother.”

Despite a few more tosses from Brinkman, the Clovers are almost guaranteed to pound the ground game.

“I think this year we’ll stick to the ground. We’ll probably run the option a lot with the two of us, Donavan and I, then Zach Couse is another strong running back that we have,” Brinkman said. “If we get him out on the edge, that’s probably where we’ll go. We only have so many lineman, hopefully they can be conditioned enough to stay up for the whole game and not wear out too easy.”

Scisney noted that not many were too winded on the practice field and piped up when asked what single game comes to mind when thinking about the schedule.

“South Put, September 24,” the junior tailback said.

“We’ve got Greencastle on October 1, just a week after that,” Brinkman added. “Two county rivalries back-to-back and we’ve got them both here at home this year.”

 

The Clovers will open Friday night in a controlled scrimmage with visiting Linton, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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