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Sunday, August 16, 2009

South – Defense Improved
J. C. Tilton

In his comments after the scrimmage coach Shondlemeyer stated that defense was a focus for this season. “Last season we scored a lot of points, but we gave up a lots points too.” After holding Fort Loramie scoreless on Saturday, it was clear that the team was getting the message. They gave up a few plays, but kept Loramie out of the redzone the entire time. The defense also collected some turnovers, grabbing an interception and a couple of fumbles. But the offense returned the favor and gave up an interception and a fumble. Something that needs to be corrected before the season starts.

South had a couple of scores against a stingy Fort Loramie defense. Tyler Leach set up the first one with a 60 yard carry and the other score was from a nice balanced drive where South mixed the pass and run to get into the endzone a second time. Defensively, they collected several sacks and I liked seeing all the Panthers around the ball. There were some starters on the sideline for the scrimmage with injuries, but word is that all but one are planning to be back before the season starts.

Coach Shondlemeyer was asked for comment afterwards, “I like what we did on defense today, last year we did not do a good job of getting to the ball and gang tackling. I saw great effort on defense and lots of red helmets at the point of attack. Offensively I didn’t think our skill guys blocked very well. Also we coughed up the ball a couple of times and good teams - championship teams do not turn the ball over. I do like the way our players stepped it up on our last scoring drive. Senior Miles McCollum escaped the rush and made a play with Steve Balthis.”

Key returning starters, “Well our offensive line is intact from last year. AJ Bantz is a senior 4 year starter. Jesse Koeller at guard, Ross Lundsford at tackle both have 3 years, Bobby Greene is a two year starter. In the backfield, Skylar Reckers is a senior, Tyler Leach is our fullback. Miles McCollum our quarterback, Steve Balthis at running back – all are back from last year. Roy Wysong and Cody Bryant at the receiver round out the offense.

When asked about the top competition in the league, coach mentioned Covington – “They always have a strong tradition up there. But Miami East has got something going, they have skill guys that are going to be a concern. And I really like Ansonia, they really came off the ball well against us last year. And in this conference the physical team wins the conference and so that’s why I like Ansonia – they are going to be a challenge.

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