'Excited' Pioneers ready for new start

August 20, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - Everyone gets a fresh start this week, and nowhere is that more welcome than at Harrodsburg.

While stability and prosperity haven't returned to Harrodsburg yet, but there is a feeling that they might be on their way back to town as the Pioneers prepare for their debut under coach Terry Yeast.

"After a tough season last year, kids are excited about getting started and getting the opportunity to be successful right from the get-go," Yeast said.

Their chance comes Friday night when Harrodsburg opens the season at Western Hills, another team looking forward to a new beginning with a new coach.


The Pioneers will start with a healthy running back, a pair of quarterbacks and a number of familiar faces in new places.

"It's typical Harrodsburg: We want to get our best 11 kids on the field," Yeast said.

One of them figures to be senior running back Mark Dunn, who is healthy again after a junior season cut short by knee and shoulder injuries.

Yeast said Dunn will be again a big part of the offense. But he said the development of other players around him will make that offense even more effective.

"The most exciting thing is our young guys have really stepped up and prove they'll be able to help us out a little bit," Yeast said. "Mark is healthy, and that's a blessing. But along with that we seem to have a lot of kids who want to contribute to the success of this season."

Brown, Edwards sharing quarterback duties

Two of them are quarterbacks Mariqus Brown and Freeman Edwards. Brown, a senior, and Edwards, a freshman, have shared the position in the preseason, and Yeast said they will continue to do so for the forseeable future.

"In our scrimmage, I thought both of them did some things extremely well," Yeast said.

Edwards is the better passer of the two, while Brown is the better runner. But Yeast said having one or the other on the field won't tip Harrodsburg's hand.

"It really doesn't determine what we'll do with one or the other. We'll still run our game," Yeast said. "I know everybody's going to key on our running game because of Mark. If we can throw the ball, I think we'll be successful."

Harrodsburg was successful in its second preseason scrimmage Saturday when it defeated Harrison County at Morehead. That followed a loss to Bullitt East a week earlier.

"You could tell a big improvement between the two scrimmages," Yeast said.

Mooney now coaching Western Hills

The Pioneers will try to continue that improvement against Western Hills, which is making its own fresh start under new coach Scott Mooney, a former Campbellsville University assistant. The Wolverines were 2-8 last year and haven't had a winning season since 1980.

Yeast said he didn't see the Wolverines' scrimmage, but he has heard good things about running back John Keene, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards last year.

"They've got a really nice running back. We're telling our kids they've got to do a good job tackling this week," Yeast said.

But the Harrodsburg coach said the particulars of who and where the Pioneers are playing don't matter much to them.

"I don't think they really care who they're playing. They just want to get the season started," Yeast said.

"As long as we know we're heading in the right direction We hope that we will have taken a big step this week."

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