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Northwood returns a strong, quick squad

By Eric Andrews
Posted Monday, September 11, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - Round two of the State Playoffs was the best the '05 team could accomplish, but the '06 team hopes to do at least one better.

"We're taking this season one game at a time," says veteran Head Coach Bill Hall. "If we play like were capable, and stay relatively injury free, we have an excellent chance of going all the way this year."

The is no "I" in team, and Coach Hall thinks that every person is key to this group going all the way, but it is this reporter's opinion, much of that success rests on the shoulders of two young men.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior Josh Edwards is one of the most impressive athletes to ever walk out on the field in a Northwood jersey. He has incredible quickness, raw speed, and a body builder's physique. He holds the school record for the most sacks in a game, and opposing coaches have admitted to implementing audibles to make sure they run away from this guy. Whether, it is on the defensive line, or anchoring the linebacker corp, this guy is sure to be playing football after his senior year.

Toting the ball for the Charger squad is junior Tobias Palmer. He may be the fastest athlete to ever wear the green and gold at Northwood. Soon after switching from defensive back to tailback, the sophomore (last year) scored no less that 5 touchdowns in a win against state powerhouse Burlington Cummings. Corralling this running back will be on the minds of every defensive coordinator Northwood goes up against this year. If he can stay focused, injury free, and keep a clear head under the pressure, he will be instrumental in returning his team to the playoffs.

Coach Hall will be calling the plays for the offense. He will stick with a basic I formation, and he will have junior Jacquem Green at the QB helm. Junior Bernard Palmer will share some of the running responsibilities, along with senior fullback Chris Ryan. Though Jacquem has a good arm, there is nobody to throw to...8 in the box-look out!

Returning defensive coordinator Brian Harrington is sure to run a full package against any team Northwood faces. "I don't care who we are playing! I will tell the kids it is a 4-4, or a 5-3, and I will put the kids where I want them, when I want them there. Nobody will have a clear idea what we are going to run the week before we play them-because we won't know. I will change it whenever I want to! We're hitters. Josh (Edwards) has a free license to do whatever he wants, and the guy carrying the ball needs to run for cover!" Senior defensive lineman Josh Jurius will be assisting in the hits, along with senior LB Freddie Dell, junior LB Jay Parker, junior LB Jimmy Penny and senior LB Kevin Jackson-more likely to go into boxing than football next year. Harrington went on to say "We need to hit them hard up front...our secondary is a sieve. If we end up with a single interception it will be because their QB's arm got a cramp."

Look for seniors Scott Kelly, Tyrell Williams, and Rayshaun Seymore to do what they can to cover the skies.

Special teams will once again dominate Northwood's performance. Senior kicker Jordan Robinson's foot is on fire...he can't miss from extra point range, and if he does he will be tortured. He is sure to break his own school record for longest field goal this year. After reviewing hours of film, I decided it was best to give the return spots to Tobias Palmer. He will be assisted by Bernard Palmer and Rayshaun Seymore. Bernard is also the punter. Chris Ryan is the kick off-kicker. All of the best hitters start on special teams...(we have a no-scrub policy)...starters on defense tend to be starters on special teams. And if we don't do well on Friday night, there is always a special reminder on Monday: BEASTS!

So make sure you come out there and support your local high school team, they work hard and they thrive off of a good crowd. And don't forget to ask for the Coach Davidson's Special at the concession stand; he will buy your popcorn.

Contributing writer Eric Andrews is Northwood's Special Teams coach.

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