Jonathan Alder football players go through drills during preseason practice last week. Full contact for local grid squads began on Saturday.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Jonathan Alder High School head football coach Brett Glass has been pretty pleased with what he’s seen from his team over the past week.
“Except for the fact that we got ‘drowned’ on Tuesday (with the rain), things have been going pretty well,” said Glass. “The guys are working hard and are really learning what we are installing.
“I think we’re ahead of schedule.”
The Pioneers, just like all other high school football teams in Ohio, began preseason practice last Monday.
Glass went into the preseason knowing he would have to replace three-year starter Preston Eisnaugle at quarterback.
Sophomore J.T. Keith appears to have the upper hand as the No. 1 signal-caller.
“J.T. has taken control of the position,” said Glass. “He has shown what he can do and for the time being, he’s our guy.
“He’s very similar to Preston in that he also played varsity baseball as a freshman,” said Glass, who is also an assistant coach for the Alder diamond program. “Still, we have to remind ourselves that he’s just a sophomore.”
Alder must also find a replacement for 1,000 yard-plus running back Jamie Dye.
“Right now, it’s running back-by-committee,” said Glass, adding that Mason Seum, Drew Begin, Jacob Fenick and Garret Proxmire are all getting reps in carrying the ball.
“This is a little different in that we don’t have one guy we can lean on for running the ball,” said the Alder coach. “We’re looking at several of them.”
Glass said there are no particular areas the Pioneers are working on during the preseason, adding that he just wants to continue to fine-tune all aspects of the game on both sides of the ball and special teams.
He said he would have a better idea what needed work once full contact was permitted this past Saturday.
While many teams will scrimmage against other schools three times this summer, the Pioneers will conduct only two scrimmages.
They will host Teays Valley on Friday at 6 p.m. and then travel to Fairbanks for the Jamboree (game conditions) scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 17.
“I’ve never felt there was a need for three scrimmages,” said Glass. “You can only start hitting on Saturday and some teams have scrimmages next Tuesday.
“I think that’s too early after you begin full contact,” he said.
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