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Comets lose Stephens to injury / August 22, 2013

Halifax County High School varsity football has not kicked off for real yet, and already the Comets are dealing with injury issues.

Tyler Stephens enjoyed some excellent moments on offense and defense, but he also was injured in Friday’s scrimmage against Staunton River.

Stephens thought he had escaped the scrimmage without a major issue.

However, HCHS coach Mike Roark said Tuesday Stephens suffered a broken foot in the scrimmage.

He’s expected to be out five weeks.

“All I’ve been told it’s a clean break, high, not in the ankle, but the bone, going close to the ankle,” said Roark.

Stephens did not play in the full quarter part of the scrimmage. The Comets believed Stevens’ injury was minor, although they took precautions.

On Saturday, the coach got the call that the Comet player broke his foot.

Stephens, who saw duty at quarterback and had a considerable part of the offensive statistics last year, would have helped the Comets on both sides of the ball.

Meanwhile, sophomore Jamal Chism got hurt in a summer NFL player development camp at HCHS. Chism suffered a broken arm. He could be back, but another disgnosis in a couple of weeks could tell the story there.

CURRENT QB LOOK: HCHS has Jacob Garrett to run the offense at quarterback, and Roark indicated he’s familiar with the system.

“Jacob’s been taking all the snaps, everything all winter and all spring and summer. It’s not like we’ve got to take a whole new guy and put him in there. He’s ran (the offense) pretty well.

“We’ve got Kyran (Adams) back. Kyran played some last year, still learning everything. We’ve got two guys there (at QB),” said Roark.

Roark also said Tre Morgan and Roland Brandon can take snaps at quarterback if necessary.

“I’ve got a little package for Tre and Roland ... if we need them in emergency situations,” said Roark.

He said Garrett is probably the front-runner at quarterback.

Garrett is a sophomore, who is 5-foot-10 and lifted all summer. Garrett weights about 185, and is a strong, fast, very coachable player. He saw experience last year.

“We’re not an offense where the quarterback is the guy. It’s manage the system,” said Roark.

HELMET STICKERS: HCHS football will have a new, flashier helmet design this fall, including stickers that will be handed out for display on the helmets. Roark said the players will get a weightlifting sticker if a player lifted all summer. There will also be other stickers - including pancake blocks for the lineman - and Comet stickers for special plays.

“More fun for the kids. Give them a little excitement,” said Roark.

“Guys that lifted this summer get one. We’re going to put team stickers on there to represent this is one team, not one individual. The Comet (sticker) .... big play here, big play there, get a Comet sticker.

“The pancakes are for the linemen. Linemen don’t get enough recognition,” said Roark. “We’ve got some commitment stickers for the guys who’ve been here all through January, here all camp, they’ll get a commitment sticker. Reward those who’ve been working hard.”

NOTEBOOK: Roark seems pleased with the progress of the Comets.

“We’re in better shape. We’re a lot faster team than we were last year, overall team speed,” said Roark.

Devan Richardson adds speed, and some others have fleet feet.

HCHS will have a varsity benefit game against Buckingham Friday night on the road.

Roark is also looking to answer a few question marks along the offensive line, for instance, and the final starting lineup will be set Saturday morning.

CORRECTONS: Friday’s jayvee and freshmen scrimmages were against Amherst County. Also, no. 52 for the jayvee is Isiah Adams.

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