Pre-season scrimmage shows great promise for Wolverines

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, August 14, 2014

By Mark Schmerling
Three area football teams invaded Columbus for the Wolverine Jamboree football scrimmage Monday evening and Polk County played all three in the Wolverines’ first clashes of the pre-season.
An eager crowd, ready to urge Polk on, witnessed at least the tenth Wolverine Jamboree.
Polk challenged Chase in play inside the forty-yard line, while North Henderson and East Rutherford did the same at the opposite end of the field. The teams switched, with Polk facing East Rutherford, before the Wolverines and North Henderson squared off for a brief full-field contest.
When it was over, new Wolverine Head Coach Jamie Thompson was pleased with some of what he saw, but knows that this early in the year some improvement needs to, and will, happen.
“It’s about what I expect,” Thompson noted. “Our potential is high. Some guys were never in this situation.”
Early, against Chase, star Polk player Jordan Smith suffered a minor shoulder injury (Thompson expects Smith to be ready to play in the Aug. 22 regular-season opener against Shelby). “When Jordan went down”, Thompson related, “Some faces dropped, but we pressed on.”
Though Thompson acknowledged that his squad needs to improve in pass protection, blocking and tackling (“The option hurt us against Chase,” he said), he also observed, “we moved the ball well, with quarterback Jamal Wheeler connecting often with Jason Chupp. Wheeler also tore off some long running gains”.
Place-kicker Davis Darkach made good on numerous extra-point attempts. “Our game management was pretty good,” said Thompson after the evening’s last play. Overall Wolverine tackling was more solid than at this time last year, a season in which Polk’s defense became rock solid.
Thompson listed Smith as “day-to-day,” but does not see Smith playing in this Friday’s Cleveland County Jamboree, hosted by Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs (N.C.), at 6 p.m.
Next Friday (Aug. 22) Polk opens the regular season at Shelby. And on Aug. 29, the Wolverines host Asheville. Game time for both, and for the rest of the season, is 7:30 p.m.

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