WESTERN YELL Hoping to stay fresh
By Brandon Scott Contributing Writer
August 23, 2009
Wolverines facing low numbers again
RIVER VALLEY and OZARK AREA When it came to describing the expectations of the 2009 season, Western Yell County head coach Phil Collins put it frankly: "We are in a tough situation we are trying to make better." The Wolverines are coming off an 0-10 season that featured a lack of depth and strength at the linemen positions on both offense and defense. Although the situation is not much better this season, Collins is focused on progressing the program at Western Yell County.
"We expect to compete better than we did last year," he said. "We have to continue to make progress and develop our younger players." Collins is expecting to play 15-20 players, which creates depth problems if injuries occur - not to mention the weariness of players as the game continues.
On offense, Collins said that along with his skillplayers, the passing and running game should be in good shape. On defense, it's the secondary and linebackers who will be the focus of the defensive attack.
And while there's optimism on both offense and defense, the question of the front lines is something that cannot be ignored.
"Again, we don't have the physical people up front on both sides," Collins said.
"That isn't good; it gives you some real problems. The ones we have will be several sophomores and some guys who have never played before. We don't have a very overall good situation." The coach mentioned a few players who he expects to make an impact this season as the Wolverines try to rebound and forget the 2008 season.
The offense will be led by senior quarterback Mark Bilabanh (5-8, 155).
"He's a very good athlete and a quick, smart kid," the coach said of the all-conference honorable mention from last season.
Bilabanh's targets will be Brian Bucknan (5-10, 150) and Jonathan Stone (5-9, 155).
Stone will be used as a flanker wide receiver and also at fullback.
And maybe one of the youngest starters on the team is Jeff Rasabong (5-9, 155).
The sophomore will not only take time at the quarterback and running back positions, he'll also line up at linebacker on defense.
"He's one of the best athletes in the school," Collins said.
WESTERN YELL COUNTY WOLVERINESSept. 4 ... Cutter Morning Star Sept. 11 ...............Greenland Sept. 18 ...............at Danville Sept. 25 .................Decatur* Oct. 2 ............... at Hartford*Oct. 9 .........Union Christian* Oct. 16 ....................at Ola* Oct. 23 .......... at Magazine* Oct. 30 Johnson County Westside Nov. 5 ................at Hackett*
Special, Pages 230 on 08/23/2009