Pioneers improve in 7-on-7 scrimmage
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga football coach Tom Wright was encouraged by the Pioneers' effort following their 7-on-7 workout with Starmount and West Wilkes at Jack Groce Stadium Friday.
Wright could not say the same thing Monday when Watauga looked lackluster in a 7-on-7 workout. He was happy with the way the Pioneers bounced back Friday.
“We competed better today than we did in a passing scrimmage with three teams last week,” Wright said. “I didn't feel like we were as prepared mentally when we walked on the field. Today I thought we were a little more mentally prepared. I was happy with the effort even thought we had fewer people today.”
Wright said several Pioneers had other commitments, or were on vacation, and could not participate Friday. Even without them, Watauga reached the end zone several times during the practice, which went for nearly three hours.
The most spectacular was a 65-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tripp Taylor to Anthony White on the third play of a 10-play segment against West Wilkes. Most of the 10-play segments had every play start at the 40-yard line. The segment White scored on was when the teams started the next play where the previous play ended.
It was the only play during that segment that ended in a touchdown.
“It was a nice play for us,” Wright said. “It was a great throw and a great catch for us.”
Watauga allowed just one touchdown.
“They played very well,” Wright said of his defense.
Watauga used Taylor and Jay Harrill at quarterback. Taylor connected with Cameron Baker for a 37-yard gain in the first segment, but Watauga did not reach the end zone until a possession later when Harrill connected with White for a 40-yarder.
Taylor added 40-yard touchdown passes for Baker and Nick Williams. Harrell found Dewayne Mackey for a 40-yarder.
“We gave (each quarterback) an equal reps and in each position, we gave everybody an equal amount of reps,” Wright said. “We gave them a chance to get some experience under their belt.”
Rising freshman Aaron Dobbins and returning sophomore Austin Northern handled quarterback duties defensively. Northern connected with Nathan Ford and Anthony Deiters for 40-yard touchdowns, while Dobbins found Tony Downs for a touchdown.
Watauga has another 7-on-7 workout at 6 p.m., Tuesday at home against Lincolnton. The first day of prep football practice is July 30.