Hornets eager to play exhibition against Eagles

Published 4:25 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

For the Chelsea Hornets, the Aug. 22 preseason game at Calera will be a change of scenery of sorts, namely, lining up against an opposing squad not made up of teammates.

“We just need to play someone else,” said head coach Chris Elmore. “It’d be good to play a team as good as Chelsea. We’re tired of beating on each other.”

Elmore said the Hornets are past learning the X’s and O’s at this point in the year, with the focus shifting on balancing the school schedule with practice. He also said practice had been sluggish the last two days, the first time the team showed any regression up until that point.

“We were beat up from scrimmage,” he said. “(It’s) not as much about scheming as it is adjusting to schedule. It’s part of it when you start school.”

With the chance to face an opponent, the Hornets plan to test out the running back- by-committee system, where they will use Aki Coles, Austin Washington and A.J. Jones in various situations during the season.

Coles and Washington will share time against Calera, as Jones is nursing an injury and will sit out the preseason due to an injury, Elmore said.

With depth an issue for both teams, the exhibition game will feature the varsity squads playing each other in the first half, the junior varsity teams playing in the third quarter and the freshmen-only teams playing the fourth.

Elmore said that while protection and staying healthy was an issue, focusing on not getting hurt too much could affect a team.

The game will kick off at 7 p.m. and will take place at Ricky M. Cairns Memorial Stadium, located at 100 Calera Eagle Drive in Calera.