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Larry Epperly, his staff and a very talented group of Comets came within one fateful opponent’s 3-pointer of crashing the State 5-A Final Four a year ago.
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SoVaNow.com / August 11, 2014Roland Brandon returns as a key figure in the Comet offense.
The Comet senior demonstrated good elusiveness Friday during the ‘Meet the Comets’ scrimmage, but he certainly has room for improvement. And Brandon does not appear to be the only option for the Comet offense.
“I feel good. This was our first day of contact ... really hitting each other. It was better than I expected.
“I’ve matured a whole lot since last year. That was my biggest problem (in 2013) of not being the biggest leader I could be. This year, I’ve got people looking up to me. I’ve got to set a good example for my team,” he said.
STARKE HELPS WITH SPECIAL TEAMS - Former James Madison University specialist Cameron Starke, has been volunteering his time to assist with the Comet kickers and punters. Starke is still hoping for a call from an NFL team and is seeking an opportunity to prove himself at that level. For now, he’s back on the Comet practice field.
“I try to come back in the off-season every year and just help tweak the technique of the kickers and the punters and the snappers,” said Starke. He had five years of experience at the college level in special teams, including an early turn at West Virginia, before he transferred to the JMU program.
Starke pointed out that sophomore Kyle Epps has made tremendous improvement in his kicking. Transfer Ben Hudson has a strong leg, but is raw to football. Starke has worked to tweak his technique.
Isak Schaefer played soccer this spring and has improved. He is in the mix for kicking at the varsity level. Schaefer has improved considerably, Starke said.
COMET PERSECTIVE - Comet assistant Garrick Vogt offered valuable perspective about the path ahead for the HCHS team.
Vogt agreed with the idea that the Comets will seek to build on positive accomplishments throughout the preseason.
“We know how young we are. For us, every week’s ... a learner,” said Vogt.
“We’ve got a sophomore quarterback, with possibly a senior and a freshman backfield, throwing to a new guy, a new guy and a new guy,” said Vogt.
Vogt, the offensive coordinator, seemed to think the offense got steadily better during the scrimmage.
Judging sophomore James Smith’s work at quarterback, Vogt said, “he performed like a rookie varsity quarterback, and that’s exactly what we expected. When it started, he looked like what he was. And as the scrimmage went on, he got better and better and better.”
“The great thing we have right now, is we’ve got a senior, backup quarterback Kyran Adams, who can really show him how some things are done out there, how to get a huddle together, how to get those guys all on the same page,” said Vogt.
“Kyran benefitted from the rest of the offense finally getting up to speed,” said Vogt.
Adams is slated to be in the slot and is also the backup quarterback.
Roland Brandon was a proven commodity, so there were no surprises there. As for a newcomer, Jamal Brandon, “when he went when he was supposed to, where he was supposed to, he did a heck of a job. .... We ran about the same play eight times in a row with him. We had to eventually get him going to the correct hole. Once he did, we had some things happen,” said Vogt.
J. Brandon brings considerable athleticism, and the freshman is expected to play at the varsity level. But Vogt also said J. Brandon will make rookie mistakes.
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