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Sports

September 26, 2013

Comets open district against defending state champs

VELMA — The Comets will find out quickly just how well they will measure up not only in District 4A, but in Class A overall.

That’s because their district opener Friday at home comes against Ringling, the defending Class A state champions.

Velma-Alma High School football coach Greg Gothard knows his team has a tough task ahead.

“They’re the real deal,” Gothard said regarding the Blue Devils. “They are coming off a state championship season and have nearly everybody back.”

Ringling returns quarterback Taner Richardson. “He is a really good football player,” Gothard said. “He runs the show for them.”

The Comet coach said that the Blue Devils generally prefer to run the ball, but that Richardson can make things tough on defenses when he drops back to pass.

“You spend so much time trying to defend their fullback and their tailback, that he can throw it on you,” Gothard said.

On defense, Gothard said the Blue Devils “fly to the football. Looking at the film, you don’t see any weaknesses.”

Still, Gothard said his players are “excited” to open district play against a tough opponent.

“Our goal is to be the district champions, and to do that, we have to beat not only the defending district champs, but the defending state champs,” he said.

Gothard said the Comets must do a better job of taking care of the ball, as turnovers hurt in their last two games. Additionally, Gothard said the Comets need to play better up front on both the offensive and defensive lines.

He noted that Ringling is “experienced up front. We’ve been work hard and diligently to correct (issues on the line).”

Gothard said he is pleased with where the team is at defensively and it will be important for that to continue. He added he has been happy with the quality of practice so far this week.

“They’re not shying away from the deal,” he said. “Practice has been really good.”

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