Dunbar a big test for Garrard

August 20, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

LANCASTER - Garrard County coach Steve Stonebraker knows taking on Dunbar is not the easiest way to start the season. However, he also knows playing a Class AAAA team like Dunbar can have a positive impact on his program.

"If we could win, it would be one of the biggest wins ever for our program," sad Stonebraker. "If not, then it is a game that will still push our program ahead. Playing a good team in one of the state's best bowl games, or perhaps the state's best bowl game, can only help us."

Garrard opens its season Saturday against Dunbar in the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic at Admiral Stadium in Danville. Kickoff will be at 5:30 p.m. with host Danville playing Manual in the second game.

First-year Dunbar head coach Fred Barnott has an experienced team. He returns most of the offensive and defensive linemen that helped the Bulldogs go 9-5 last year. That includes three-year starter Zach Brewer, who is the defending state heavyweight wrestling champion after winning 35 of 36 matches last year.


"They are going to be a lot bigger than us up front," Stonebraker said.

Junior running back Bobby Vyverberg rushed for almost 1,000 yards last season for Dunbar and receivers Ryan Combs and Thurman Clay are likely targets for new quarterback Davis Stanley, who was the starting catcher on the state championship baseball team last season.

Barnott has been a long-time Dunbar assistant and got the job when Mark Peach left to become head coach at Campbellsville University.

"We respect Garrard County and know we will need to play a good game to win," Barnott said. "They have a lot of good players coming back and coach Stonebraker does an excellent job getting a team prepared to play."

Concern about Dunbar's speed

Dunbar's speed, especially on defense, concerns Stonebraker.

"Holes just close instantaneously and their secondary has great closing speed," Stonebraker said. "I feel our offense has progressed nicely. We have a lot of receivers that have improved their catching and blocking. We've got nine skilled kids that are going to rotate and play. But Dunbar's defense really looks good to me."

Junior Spencer Crutchfield will again direct Garrard's offense. He threw for about 700 yards last season.

"He was a lot better by the time last year ended and he's kept getting better," Stonebraker said.

Senior Tim Quisenberry averaged 5.3 yards per run last season and figures to be Garrard's primary runner this season.

"We are going into this season with high expectations and think we can develop into a good team," Stonebraker said. "This opening game is going to be a big challenge for us. No one expects us to win.

"We have seven starters that will be going both ways, but they have several players that go both ways, too. Depth will not be as big a problem as some expect. What will be a problem is that Dunbar just has a good football team.

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