Beefed Up O-line
By TJ MAXWELL
Depth is a word often used by successful sports programs.
Copperas Cove head football coach Jack Welch knows to have that depth as one of the smallest schools in the district requires some ingenuity so he is taking offensive guys to the defensive side and visa versa to give the team more depth at some key positions.
“We’ve been working hard every day,” said Welch. It’s been a process and we’ve made a little progress. I thought today we made the most progress we’ve made thus far and we’ve made that with some depth – having to play some kids both ways. I think it’s starting to click and today I thought we took a step. We’ve got a long way to go.
“We’re in a building process and programs go through that. These kids are working hard but they know their challenges and what they’ve got to do. They can see it and we can see it. Today I thought was a big step in the right direction to get us where we need to be.”
In the trenches is where he has a bit of luxury to make some moves. Welch has a wealth of talent along the offensive line this year so he’s having some guys play both ways to give more depth to the young and inexperienced defense.
“That’s where most of the depth was today along that offensive line,” said Welch. “I think our offensive line is much improved and I’m using some of those guys on defense now and it’s making a difference.”
Another place Welch is taking advantage of stacked cupboard is in the skill positions – notably receiver – where receivers Bryce Ranes and Floyd Connell saw time at cornerback and safety and several other players saw both sides of the ball. Camden Rhodes and Zaye Pettit are a couple other guys that saw both sides of the ball on Tuesday.
“This scrimmage Friday will help us know a lot more where it shakes out,” said Welch on who will play both ways and at what positions. “There are several kids that are going to be playing both ways and today it really helped us. It really stood out. It gives us that depth and it gives us that 1-2 punch. At this level of 6A football, if you don’t have depth, it will wear you out because you are going to get somebody hurt sooner or later and the other teams will find that weakness.”
Friday’s scrimmage will also help Welch evaluate the rest of the defense that will need to make strides before opening day in August.
“I want to see how improved our defense is,” said Welch. “Offensively, we’re doing pretty good right now but we’ve got to make sure defensively we’re shoring it up.”
Welch said it’s no big secret that the running game will be vital come the fall.
“We’ve got to run the football more,” he said. “We have to establish the run game and mix in the pass game. When you have a defense that’s not an all-powerful defense, you have to take time off the clock to give them a chance and get them off the field.
“You want to keep their offense off the field as much as you can and you do that will a good powerful offense so we’re working on that.”
Welch acknowledged they are still behind the eight ball in their kicking game, but may have some help coming from the soccer field.
“Nope, we’re still struggling and have a ways to go,” he said of if his kicking game woes were fixed. “We do have a kid coming out from soccer though.”
The Dawgs will scrimmage tonight before kicking off their final week of spring practice on Monday with the CenTex 7 on 7 flag league to follow shortly thereafter.