The Riverview Eagle football team began preseason practice last week to get ready for the upcoming 2008 campaign.
Under first year head coach Mark Thomason the team is working hard to fine tune its offensive and defensive schemes.
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 for one season under
Dawson County High School Head Football Coach Jeff Lee.
After leaving Dawson County, Thomason coached at South Forsyth for one season. His last stop was at East Hall where he was a defensive coordinator for the East Hall Middle School Vikings last year.
“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.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to coach at Riverview. My goal is to teach these young men the fundamentals,” he added.
Not only will Thomason handle the head coaching duties for Riverview, he will also coach the offensive line and the linebackers.
Helping Thomason will be former Dawson County High School Tiger standout Benji Edwards.
Edwards will coach the quarterbacks, running backs and defensive backs for the Eagles.
Edwards will be entering into his first year of teaching and will instruct physical education at Riverview Middle School.
“Coach Edwards knows a lot about coaching quarterbacks,” remarked Thomason. “Benji is a huge asset to our program.”
The team has been averaging about 25 players at each workout.
“We think that around 30 players will eventually be on the team,” Thomason remarked. “That’s about what I thought since before the split there were around 60 players total.”
Riverview plans to run about the same offensive and defensive formations as the high school.
“Obviously we want to do as many things the same as Coach Lee at the high school. Offensively, we may put some different wrinkles in. Defensively, we will run a 3-5 the majority of the time,” Thomason said.
Thomason praised the early play of quarterback Tyler Dominy, running back Cody Smith and offensive tackle Evan Kells on offense.
“Tyler has been a great leader and has an excellent arm. Cody is just steady and runs the ball hard. Evan gives a hundred percent on every play and really gets after it.”
On defense, Thomason has been impressed by outside linebacker Bruce Clark and defensive lineman Justin Sams.
“Both these guys are really tough and have a great work ethic,” remarked Thomason.
Thomason thinks that Dawson County Middle School will be their toughest opponent of the year.
“This is a game that you hang your hat on,” said Thomason. “Coach (Frank) Brown has a lot of coaching experience and will have those guys ready. I also think games against both Pickens teams will be tough.”
Riverview will participate in a scrimmage against Dawson County Middle School, Jasper Middle School and Pickens County Middle School on Thursday, Aug. 21 at Sandy Walls Field in Dawsonville.
Kick-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.
The Eagles will open the regular season with a big showdown against the Dawson County Middle School Tigers on Aug. 28, beginning at 5 p.m.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at email@example.com.