Hornets gain experience in spring game

Quarterback Chase Wilson scrambles for yardage in Chelsea's spring game against Vestavia Hills (Contributed/Cari Dean)

Quarterback Chase Wilson scrambles for yardage in Chelsea’s spring game against Vestavia Hills (Contributed/Cari Dean)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

The Chelsea Hornets took to the football field for the first time in 2014 on May 12, squaring off against Vestavia Hills in an exhibition spring contest. The Hornets sought to gain experience as well as use the game as a test to see what the squad needs to work on going into summer workouts.

According to head coach Chris Elmore, the team did both.

“I thought we got a lot out of it,” he said. “(We) got to see a lot of guys (get) a lot of varsity action.”

Chelsea fell 35-27 to the Rebels, but both squads only used their varsity starters through two-and-a-half quarters.

Elmore said he felt the offense was beginning to take shape, but was a long way from finished.

“We ran the ball well, he said. “But we’ve got work to do.”

Elmore said one aspect of the team that was going to develop during the summer months was the passing game. Both rising junior Chase Wilson and rising sophomore Matthew Marquet are vying to replace graduated senior Trent Hagin for the position, and Elmore said he was impressed by the way the two handled themselves during the game.

“Both quarterbacks had a good game,” he said. “They were both good at managing the offense.”

In addition to the passing game, Elmore said he felt the Hornets’ rushing attack executed well, despite running back A.J. Jones missing most of spring practice with an injury. He also said he felt confident about the depth of the offensive line going inot the season.

“(Zalon) Reynolds had a pretty good game,” he said. “Our entire offensive line came together well. (We’ve) got to finish drives. We feel the top seven or eight (linemen) can intermingle.”

He went on to say that while the team was far from ready for the opener against Briarwood Aug. 29.

“We gave up a couple of big plays on defense, (but) played well as a whole,” he said. “We know we have a ton of work to do, (but) we leave spring into summer with confidence.”