Effingham County High School

Rebels put a wrap on spring practice


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May 18, 2016

By Patrick Donahue


There still may be some questions to answer for the Effingham County Rebels football team, but coach Buddy Holder was impressed by what he saw, and more than just the new scoreboard.

The Rebels concluded their two weeks of spring practice with the Blue-White game, with the varsity playing two 12-minute halves after being split up between offense and defense.

“We got a lot of good reps coming in and we got a lot of good reps tonight, Holder said. “There were a lot of good things we saw and a lot of good things we have to build on, but it was a good, solid 10 days.

The Blue team, the defense, got points on Demonte Lee’s interception and on Rashaud Roper’s interception return for a touchdown. Quarterback Jarrod Stokes connected with Trevon Wilkerson for a 38-yard touchdown pass and later hit Wilkerson again for a 17-yard score.

Wilkerson also took snaps at quarterback in the scrimmage’s latter stages.

The Rebels will need to replace Philiip Brown, who started for two years at quarterback.

“They looked good at times, Holder said of the contingent vying to take Brown’s place. “The bad decisions they made kind of glared at them. We want to put that stress on them now so that come Aug. 19, it doesn’t glare then.

Effingham County has to fill vacancies on defense, especially at linebacker, but Lee and Roper could help stabilize the secondary.

“The defense has done a good job, Holder said. “It’s a lot easier to fly around and play defense and be aggressive then it is to execute very well on offense at this time. But the things I saw were very good. It’s exciting to see when things go right what we’re capable of.

Holder and his coaches also have to find some new starters on the offensive line, but Holder was pleased with the development of the next crop of Rebels.

“We got all those reps for those guys, he said. “When you have holes to fill, people have to step up and earn those positions. We want them to earn a position. That makes guys who are a second level players, when they earn a position over a first-level guy, better individuals and better citizens when they get older and it makes us a better team.

The coach also praised the work of running back Toot Johnson, who will be the most veteran member of the Effingham County backfield.

“I saw a lot of good things out of Toot, Holder said. “He ran hard and he blocked well. He picked up blitzes very well. He picked up pressure off the edge and he did it very aggressively. It’s a good unselfish trait for a running back.

The Rebels will continue to lift weights through the school year and take a break of a couple of weeks before starting summer workouts in mid-June.





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