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Comet football gets workout

SoVaNow.com / April 22, 2013
The start of Mike Roark’s second season as the Comet varsity football head coach is months away, but the veteran mentor and some of the Blues were hard at work Saturday.

Halifax County High School held a seven on seven football drill with Gretna and Randolph Henry Saturday at the stadium. Halifax County used its receivers, its skill players and quarterbacks, while the Comets run their offense against opposing defenses. Likewise, the Comets also got a look at part of their defense against other offenses.

“It’s the first time we’ve done it this year. We’re real young, but a good day of coaching,” Roark said.

Jacob Garrett and Zach Carlson got action at quarterback. Garrett is a sophomore, and he will be playing varsity.

Truman Brown and Desmond Edmunds played at wide receiver, while Justin Logan played A-Back and Nick Vaden played fullback.

Then, Tre Morgan will be going two plays and playing H-back.

Defensively, HCHS had James Halasz and Ryan Walker, another sophomore, at linebacker while Juan Jackson was at safety. Morgan is also expected to play safety.

Malik Clark, Alonzio Jones and Markee Thomas will play corner. Thomas played some time at free safety and wide receiver.

Timmy Desmond played some defense. Juaquan Clairborne played at DB.

“We said we’re going to be young this year. A bunch of sophomores and juniors playing. Good thing. Lots of coaching, lots of football.” said Roark. These represent early drills, with some changes coming later.

“We took 50-60 snaps on offense, which is a game. We took another 50 to 60 on defense. Next Friday, (the Comets drill again),” said Roark. Roark sees positive benefits.

“With a bunch of young kids, the game’s a lot faster. They’ve been playing freshman and jayvee ball. So, the game speed, they get experience. The quarterbacks are seeing reads, the DBs are running routes, the linebackers are understanding pass droughts,” said Roark.

LIke most high school programs, the Comets are now involved in more pre-season drills. Halifax lifts two days a week. The Comets practice two days a week. HCHS will be throwing once a week.

HCHS will be quite busy, even with the out-of-season rules.

Tthe football program will sponsor a youth clinic the final week of July, with the NFL high school player development camp starting June 10.

The first official day of Comet football falls drills occurs Aug. 1. The season opener is Jefferson Forest on Aug. 23.

As part of the preseason, HCHS plans a scrimmage game with Staunton River here, followed by a benefit game at Buckingam before the start of the Comet opener.

COACH RECOGNIZED: Darius Jennings is one of the Comet football assistants.

He’s leaving for boot camp with the Army National Guard. He is supposed to be in town again in August to help the Comets. HCHS threw a very informal going-away party for the Comet assistant at the stadium Saturday.

Jennings, who helps with the Comet freshmen, should be back Aug. 1, Roark said.

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