Coahulla Creek hoping to carry momentum from solid Spring into Saturday’s game
Gridiron action returns to Varnell Saturday night at 7pm, as the Trion Bulldogs travel in to take on the Coahulla Creek Colts for the 2023 Spring Game. The contest will feature two teams that made GHSA State Playoff appearances last season, as the Colts (6-3A) were 7-4, and the Bulldogs (D1 7-A) were 9-3.
For Coahulla Creek, this has been a Spring filled with some big changes (new head coach), and some small changes (assistant coaches in new positions, and players in new roles), but ultimately it’s been filled with a lot of competition according to 1st year Head Coach Drew Carter, “Our guys are handling the changes really well and the competitive nature in practice has been consistent.”
As for the assistant coaches, Carter says the staff adjustments should be very beneficial, “My top priority with our coaching staff in the offseason was to organize it so that no one was coaching both sides of the ball. We were able to accomplish that. Our staff is so seasoned and flexible that they can all coach multiple positions.”
Dan Tierney has shifted to being the tight ends coach. Trevor Thomas has moved to coaching the running backs, and former Colts standout Austin Hernandez is coaching the cornerbacks. Justin Dover will continue as Co-Defensive Coordinator, but leading the pass defense effort, now coaching the safeties. One staff addition was made, bringing in Bryan Williams (who just concluded his collegiate career at Hanover College) as the outside linebackers coach.
Coach Carter did mention some standouts this Spring – Chase Ward, Chevy Joyce, and Karim Bradley – saying “They are all maturing in their leadership roles and they look more confident in our schemes.” All three say they feel a different swagger this Spring coming off their first winning season in school history.
“After coming off of our best season, this Spring has only encouraged our team to push harder. With all of us knowing we have the ability to win, I feel our morale is greater” says Joyce. Ward added “We have the confidence now to go out and win every Friday night.” Bradley said that he’s “enjoyed the spring very much,” and “feels like it’s brought the seniors and the team closer together.”
As the Colts look to replace 3-year starting QB Kace Kinnamon, Chase Ward is among the candidates, as he has been getting reps at QB1 this Spring. “It’s been a blessing, and it’s what I really enjoy. QB is where I see myself this Fall.”
He, along with Karim Bradley, are now seniors on the team, and by default, transition into leadership roles. Bradley says he feels like he’s “shown leadership” this Spring. “Whether it’s doing Colt Jacks, or calling plays on the defense, I feel like the underclassmen tend to listen when we help them.”
Chevy Joyce started on the line as a freshman last season, and believes that having a year of varsity experience under his belt will be a big help during his sophomore campaign. “When going from middle to high school the way you think and play in the game are a lot different, so already having gone through that transition I feel I will be more prepared and ready for the upcoming season.”
As the team puts a bow on the 2023 edition of Spring practice, Coach Carter has been pleased thus far, but still wants to see a little more in this Saturday’s game, “The specific areas of growth that I will be looking for: a few guys to step into the vacated roles from last season – leadership roles and playmaker roles.”
Carter also added that “We have our eyes on a handful of guys that we are hoping to give us more depth on the offensive and defensive lines,” and that an obvious goal of Saturday’s game is to stay injury free.
The first half of the game will be an all varsity affair, with a normal game flow. There will be no live special teams, and the 2nd half will be primarily devoted to getting subs and JV players some reps. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, you can purchase general admission tickets at the gate for $5.