New Castle News


August 13, 2013

Photos, Story: Football practice begins at high schools throughout the county



Second-year Red Hurricane coach Joe Cowart welcomed 52 participants to the first day of practice, which was down by one from last year to open camp.

“I’m happy with the numbers,” Cowart said. “Our numbers are down a bit from last year. I think we finished with 57 a year ago. That's about our number.

“If we could get up in the mid 50s or low 60s I’d probably be more excited. I think we have quality with the quantity. It will be interesting through camp to develop our depth.”

Cowart’s crew worked on a variety of aspects during practice.

“We did offense in the morning and we went defense in the afternoon,” Cowart said. “I did like what I saw in the morning.

“Our guys are rounding into shape. We had a good summer as far as preparation. We’ve been able to hit the ground running based on our offseason preparation and work; I thought it was a good morning practice.”


The Wolverines dropped to 43 players after suiting up 46 a season ago. But Ellwood City coach Don Phillips was pleased with the figure.

“We have 43 right now and the way it looks, this is our roster for the season,” he said. “Any time you’re in a double-A school and you have that many kids, that tells me that you have a decent number.

“You always like as many kids out for football that you can have and that really want to participate. We don’t look and say that we have to have this number every year. We want to encourage a lot of kids to play and we want the kids to feel that they want to participate and be a part of all of this.”

The Wolverines made sure to balance out their drills on the first day.

“The morning was all offense and the afternoon was all defense,” Phillips said. “(This) morning we’ll work on both.”

Phillips did have a player go down with an injury. Junior offensive/defensive lineman Brett Gibson broke a finger. According to Phillips, Gibson figures to contend for playing time.

“He’s a nice kid and a hard-working kid,” Phillips said of Gibson. “But he’s going to need a couple of days to let that thing set.

“Once we’ve got some setting in there and it starts to heal we’ll brace that baby up and pad it up, protect him and let him get back out here.”

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