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Preseason scrimmages begin

By Keeli Parkey

Football fans will get their first glimpse of the Blue Devils when the team participates in its first preseason scrimmage at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 29, at Gentry Stadium against Cloudland.

“They can expect a good passing game and a very aggressive defense,” White said of his 2016 squad.

The Blue Devils have been hard at work preparing for the 2016 season, White said, working in the weightroom, practicing and participating in 7-on-7 passing competitions around the region.

“We had a good month of June working the offense,” he said. “Since July 11, we have been in our passing leagues. … We did well in our passing leagues. We beat Sullivan Central and South Greene. We lost to Happy Valley on a 2-point conversion. We also played at Elizabethton and threw against Elizabethton, Union High School from Virginia and Cherokee. We did real well there.”

White said he likes what he has seen from his squad this preseason.

“This week is the first week we have been in shoulder pads and helmets,” he said on Friday, July 22. “We are looking good. We have 54 players. We have been aggressive and I feel good about what we’ve got.”

Offensively, the team’s strengths are to be found in its wide receiver corps and running backs.

“We feel we have as good of skill players as any team in the league,” White said.

Senior Kendrick Williams has been running the offense at quarterback, according to the coach. Fans can also expect to see sophomore Brett Strother take some snaps at quarterback this season. White said he is pleased with the work of both players.

Defensively, the coach expects his team to have “pretty good” depth and to be aggressive.

“Our depth looks pretty good,” White said.

Joining White on the 2016 Blue Devil coaching staff are Drew Rice, Jason Hensley, Chuck Sutton, Brandon Adams, Scottie Blankenship, Malcolm Foreman and Jordan Cooper.

The Blue Devils will play in their second preseason scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. also at Gentry Stadium. Their opponent on Aug. 5 will be North Greene.

The following Friday, on Aug. 12, the team will compete in jamboree action at South Greene. The time of this competition had not been announced prior to The Erwin Record’s press deadline for the July 27 issue.

The Blue Devils open the 2016 season at Gentry Stadium in Erwin against South Greene on Friday, Aug. 19. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.