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The Comets have had to move some offensive linemen around.
But while it’s an adjustment that the coaches don’t necessarily want to make, the players are handling it well.
“The kids are able to handle it better than we do,” said Velma-Alma High School football coach Greg Gothard, as the Comets prepare to face Elmore City this Friday.
An injury to starting center Dathan Speight forced Gothard to juggle the offensive linemen around in last week’s game against Wynnewood. And this week, the Comets do not expect right guard Logan Sloan to play.
“But the kids are stepping up pretty good,” Gothard said. He admitted it’s tough to move linemen around after having settled on a starting unit.
But he added, “When one guy gets injured, somebody always steps up. It makes you better because you have more guys you know you can count on.”
Elmore City will run a wing-T offense that Gothard said will keep the Comet defense busy. On defense, Elmore runs the 4-4 and Gothard said Elmore will have good size up front and play physical.
What is helping the young Comets, though, is the effort the players put forward in practices and games, the Comet coach said.
“It’s been outstanding right now,” Gothard said. “We surpassed where I thoguth they would be right now.”
He said the effort has been especially good on defense. The Comets kept it close against Wynnewood last week, trailing just 20-14 after three quarters, but let the game get away after committing four turnovers in the fourth.
“We gave them the short field four times in the fourth quarter and good teams will take advantage of that,” Gothard said.
Still, he was pleased with the overall play last week, adding that he was especially happy with the play from defensive lineman Creede Wright. “He’s one of the best defensive lineman around,” Gothard said.