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Edwards takes helm of program at Riverview

POSTED: August 7, 2012 4:12 p.m.
Pam Jacobs Dawson Community News/

Riverview receiver Dylan Thomas concentrates on a catch during football practice last week.

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Riverview Middle School began football practice under first year head coach Benji Edwards last week.

Edwards had been an assistant coach for 4 years before taking the head position this spring.

Edwards will be assisted by Phil Branson and Jeremy Smith. Both Branson and Smith coached at Riverview last season as well.

"We have a great bunch of kids that have a very good work ethic," Edwards said. "They are excited about the season and work hard every day at practice."

There is lots of room for improvement on both offense and defense for the Eagles, according to the coaching staff.

Last season the team scored only two touchdowns on offense. The Eagles finished with an 0-5 record last season.

At quarterback there is loads of competition, according to Edwards.

Riverview has three players vying for the position: Hunter Ramey, Evan Jennings and Cullen Reed.

"There is a real battle going on for quarterback. All three boys are pretty good," Edwards said.

Reed is a seventh grader, while Jennings and Ramey are eighth graders.

According to Edwards, the team has several good ball carriers on this year's team as well.

"We have several backs that carry the ball well and have some great speed. We will try to utilize their speed by trying to get them in the open field," Edwards said.

Backs fighting for playing time are: Trey Dixon, Phillip Pinion, Tim Moody, Jacob Adams, Dustin Ray and Conner Bearden.

The offensive line will be anchored by Dawson Dominy at center, according to Edwards.

There are several players looking to win a starting position.

Edwards and his staff must decide upon Taylor Swafford, Casey Passmore, Dawson Dominy, Karson Pharris, Jack Pharris and Keelan Kraus on the line.

At tight end Edwards expects big things from Barry Thurmond.

"He is a smart football player with great ability. He has some of the best hands on the team, but also gets his job done when it comes to making a block," Edwards said.

Riverview will show multiple schemes on defense. The Eagles have been practicing several different fronts.

"In the past we have ran a 4-4 look, but this year we are looking at a 5-3," Edwards said.

The coach says that defense will be paramount for the Eagles success this season.

"I expect our defensive players to flow to the ball and make tackles. We haven't had a chance to practice on defense yet."

The Eagles will host a jamboree against Pickens and Clear Creek middle schools beginning at 5 p.m. Aug. 16.

Riverview will play cross-county rival Dawson Middle on Aug. 25 to open the season. Kick-off time was yet to be set as of press time.


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