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Coach pleased with Bluestone’s play in Chatham exhibition

South Boston News
Bluestone linemen work on how to drive the defensive player in the direction they want. (Mike Moseley photo) / August 15, 2018

The Bluestone varsity football team traveled to Danville on Friday night to play Chatham High School in its first preseason scrimmage and performed very well. The scrimmage was held at Averett University’s North Campus Athletic Complex.

Bluestone was able to hold Chatham to one TD, while producing several of their own — on the run, pass and in the red-zone. Bluestone has been preparing for the 2018 season since spring with voluntary workouts and most recently with official practices.

First-year head coach Harry John said that the team is coming together, learning new offensive and defensive schemes, and he saw some good things on Friday.

“I think overall, the scrimmage went great,” John said. “The guys were mentally prepared and ready to play against a different group, outside of our own team. I could really feel the anticipatory energy.

“I hadn’t seen any of our players in a true game-like situation up until that point, it was good to see who was ready to perform when the lights come on.”

John noted last week that the timing, coordination and ultimately the execution of the new schemes will depend on players knowing and performing their specific duties. Those elements must be coming together as John noted the offense played a very solid game and was on-point against Chatham.

“Our QB and offense performed well,” John said. “Dale [Sturdifen Jr.] is an excellent game manager and is very often on the same page as me — he even reminds me and suggests play tags to run.

“I was happy with our offensive results, even with only a portion of the playbook installed.”

In recent seasons, the line play — both defensive and offensive — has been a struggle for the Barons. Several of the linemen this season attended early workouts and that commitment showed positive results on Friday.

John added that he saw positive elements there also and as the season progresses the “O” and “D” lines will only get better.

“Overall, I am pleased with the big guys’ performance, it is clear that we still have some work to do, but it was nice to see some of the techniques, we’ve been working on, show up on game day,” John continued.

“I saw some incredible get-off and lots of communication. I am excited to see how we end up at that position this year.”

As the team prepares for its final preseason game on Friday at home against John Marshall High School, John said he just wants to see continued improvement.

“I’m just looking to continue building in the right direction, tie up some loose ends and not make the same small mistakes we made last week.

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