Pioneers want to be aggressive

September 17, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - It's a familiar preseason refrain from football coaches: Players are tired of beating up on each other, and they're just ready to hit someone else.

But there were two key differences when Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast used that clich this week. First, it isn't the preseason any more, and second, the meaning at Harrodsburg is more literal than usual.

With an open date last week, the undefeated Pioneers spent much of their extra practice time pummeling each other. Now they're preparing for Friday's game with Paris, but Yeast said he hopes they don't forget what happened last week.

"We really felt like we needed to work on Harrodsburg," Yeast said. "We didn't worry about anybody else last week; we just focused on ourselves and trying to be better."


Yeast said one way the Pioneers could get better would be to get physical, which is just what they did last week.

"We felt like we needed to be more aggressive," he said. "We kind of beat up on each other last week, because we felt like we had plenty of time to get well. It was just a matter of us evaluating where we were at that point."

Harrodsburg's ranks are thin as usual, but injuries haven't been a problem yet this season. So Yeast said the team spent three days hammering away at each other in drills.

"I think they thought it would be a slowdown week," Yeast said.

It was anything but that.

"There were times we'd (spot) the ball and give them four plays to get 10 yards. We'd go with half a line, and the team that lost had a consequence," Yeast said.

Yeast said that helped the players keep their egos in check after a 3-0 start capped by a 36-point win over archrival Mercer County two Fridays ago.

"Just seeing the film from the last game kind of brought them down a little bit, too," he said. "We've improved every game, but we're still not where we need to be to be a contender when it comes down to the end."

First matchup with Class A team

Things are back to normal this week as the Pioneers prepare to measure themselves against a Class A team for the first time this season.

"It'll give us an idea where we are against teams of our level," Yeast said.

Paris' school and roster sizes are similar to Harrodsburg. In fact, Yeast said the Greyhounds have just one more player than his team.

Paris is trying to find its way with a first-year coach and a young team. Paris alum Mark Allen Crain has taken over for Randy Reese, who left after a 4-6 campaign in 2002.

The Greyhounds scored wins over two first-year programs, Bracken County and Pendleton County, before losing to their crosstown rival, previously winless Bourbon County, last week.

Paris' talent lies at the skill positions, particularly with quarterback Trevor Rice and all-purpose back Michael Young.

"(Rice is) going to be very good, I think, just from what I've seen on film," Yeast said. "He's got a really strong arm, and he runs really well.

"We've got to be able to contain those two, and I know we've got to put some pressure on the quarterback."

The Greyhounds are inexperienced on their offensive and defensive lines.

This week the Pioneers face the added distraction of homecoming, something Yeast is dealing with as a coach for the first time.

"I think homecoming is a tough week," Yeast said. "We want them to participate in all the activities, but I told them we've got to focus on what's most important for them, and that's the game."

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