Terriers practice for speed and exuberance

Moore Haven figures to compete for a state football playoff berth again this year with a mixture of veteran experience, speed and youthful exuberance.

New coach Max Manin said they have 46 players in fall camp, which is an increase over recent years.

He plans to make a few tweaks to the schemes but knows his team is always characterized by aggressive play, speed, big plays and lining up in the right position.

He said the kids have had high energy and shown a lot of effort early in camp.

“The attitude has been good. We have gone hard and we’ve asked a lot out of them. Their effort has been good,” he noted.

The biggest positions for competition in camp are wide receiver and the defensive backfield. Players such as Alduvar Gary, Eric Hunter, Ramon Marlowe, Nate Crawford, Lorenzo Sampson, Garrett Palladino and Dawnya Washington are all pushing for playing time at those positions.

“We always have guys battling at that position. We have so many guys that can play in those two areas.”

Manin said four or five wide receivers and defensive backs deserve to start.

“The kids have been good so far. It is really hot out there so we haven’t pushed them a lot, but they are working hard,” he added.

The team also returns all-state quarterback John Cox, who surpassed 1,000 yards in both rushing and passing last year.

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a kid to coach. We will make sure he gets his touches.”

Manin said the team has plenty of guys to get the ball to. He wants to keep the opposition defense off balance.

“Our philosophy is you can’t just game-plan for John Cox. I want the other teams to respect our other weapons,” he added.

Surprises in camp include Winston Gilkes, who started for Clewiston last year. He could see time at wide receiver and in the defensive backfield.

Da’Shon Ross, who has received interest from several colleges, will be one of the leaders on defense along with Billy Rednour. Ross will be the defense anchor at middle linebacker.

Coach Manin said the defense will be asked to keep containment, read keys, cover formations and attack the ball carrier.

“Even if a player does the wrong thing, my message is do it at 100 miles per hour. I want them to play as hard, fast and violently as they can, and the kids have really responded with that,” he added.

Gary and Cox have had football scholarship offers from schools.

Other players to look out for include Johnny Crawford III and Brooks Bass.

Moore Haven hosts Gateway Charter School for an exhibition, kickoff classic on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.

Other home games include Lake Placid on Sept. 1, Neumann on Sept. 15, Glades Day on Sept. 29, Mulberry on Oct. 20 and First Baptist Academy on Oct. 27. The regular season ends with annual rival LaBelle on the road on Nov. 3. Moore Haven football can be heard on the website, www.TheCallFM.com.

Special to Glades County Democrat

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