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Riverview prepares to defend title

POSTED: July 28, 2009 4:52 p.m.
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Mark Thomason, head football coach at Riverview Middle School observes his team during a recent workout. The Eagles are reigning Mountain League Champions.

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The Riverview Eagle football team has been using this summer to prepare for the upcoming season. The team, under second-year coach Mark Thomason, will attempt to defend their Mountain League football championship. Last year, the

  

Eagles finished the season with a 7-1 record after defeating Clear Creek, 34-6 in the championship.

  

Riverview has been holding voluntary workouts on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at the school.

  

Thomason brings a wide variety of experience to the Eagle team. Thomason was a community coach at White County High School for three years while in college.

  

He also coached at Dawson County High School for one season under Coach Jeff Lee. After leaving Dawson County, Thomason coached at South Forsyth and East Hall, each for one season.

  

“My job is to prepare these young men for Coach Lee at the high school. A good middle school program makes a good high school team,”  Thomason said.

  

Thomason commented about his summer workouts: “We have been averaging around 35 players per session, which is good number. Our guys have been working on speed and agility drills, explosive weightlifting exercises, and just basic non-football related fundamentals.”

  

Benji Edwards will return for his second year on Thomason’s staff. Edwards will run the defense and coach defensive backs and quarterbacks. Also on Thomason’s staff will be Corey Ray (wide receivers and defensive backs) and community coach Jeremy Smith (offensive and defensive line). “I’m blessed to have such a fine coaching staff this year,” said Thomason.

  

“I’m really looking forward to this season. We are looking better than some people think. I think, if we stay away from injuries, that we could be strong again,” said Thomason.

  

Returning on offense at running back will be Scotty Zadernak, Drew Bishop and Gabriel Cooper. “All three of these guys have had a great summer,” Thomason said about his offensive backfield,

  

Jonah Martin has gotten the nod at quarterback for the Eagles. “Jonah is very athletic. He has really been working on his fundamentals this summer,” Thomason said.

  

The offensive line must replace four players from last year’s championship team.

  

“Even though we lost four starters up front we are going to be a lot bigger this year,” said Thomason.

  

Defensively, the team will run the same scheme as last year. “We are going to be faster on the edge. Our defense has a chance to be solid,” said Thomason.

  

The team will continue workouts this week.

  

Next week, the team will practice everyday in preparation for their preseason scrimmage on Aug. 20 at Gilmer County Middle School.

  

The Eagles will play a half against Clear Creek and a half against Gilmer County.

Riverview will open the season on Aug. 29 against cross town rival Dawson County Middle School.

  

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m at Riverview.

 

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