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Bobcats, Eagles back at it
by Kevin J. Keller
Aug 10, 2014 | 467 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Skidmore-Tynan defensive line coach Rudy Valerio, second from left, talks to the starting defense during a team defense drill at the Bobcats’ practice on Thursday.
Skidmore-Tynan defensive line coach Rudy Valerio, second from left, talks to the starting defense during a team defense drill at the Bobcats’ practice on Thursday.
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Skidmore-Tynan’s defense might just be the strong suit for the Bobcats in 2014. Linebacker T.J. Amador, left, will be one of the team leaders for the Bobcats’ defense, which is looking to rebound after allowing 45.7 points per game last season.
Skidmore-Tynan’s defense might just be the strong suit for the Bobcats in 2014. Linebacker T.J. Amador, left, will be one of the team leaders for the Bobcats’ defense, which is looking to rebound after allowing 45.7 points per game last season.
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Three of Pettus’ projected offensive starters run through a drill with coach Jeff Doege, right, during the Eagles’ practice on Wednesday.
Three of Pettus’ projected offensive starters run through a drill with coach Jeff Doege, right, during the Eagles’ practice on Wednesday.
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Returning starting quarterback Matt Gonzales, center, throws a pass during Pettus’ practice on Wednesday. Gonzales will get more chances to throw the ball in first-year coach Jeff Doege’s hybrid offense.
Returning starting quarterback Matt Gonzales, center, throws a pass during Pettus’ practice on Wednesday. Gonzales will get more chances to throw the ball in first-year coach Jeff Doege’s hybrid offense.
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The county’s two small schools, Pettus and Skidmore-Tynan, officially kicked off football two-a-days on Monday morning.

Pettus’ first-year coach, Jeff Doege, opened his first official practice as the Eagles’ mentor at 12:01 a.m.

Doege has been in Pettus since early April, so he was able to work in the offseason with his new players.

Installing his system is still a work in progress, though.

“I’m new, but not new, because we’ve already been doing some of this stuff,” Doege said. “It’s baby steps. It’s about progressing day by day. We’re talking about ‘win the day.’

“It’s a battle; it’s a battle within us.”

By Wednesday, the Eagles were well on their way to learning Doege’s system.

“As far as where we’re at right now,” Doege said, “I think we’re right where we need to be. ... I’m throwing some things at them, and some are grasping and some are not, but that’s the way it usually is at this point.”

Skidmore-Tynan hit the field at 6 a.m. Monday.

Second-year head coach John Livas said it felt really good to get back to football.

“As I told the kids, back in November, this is what we’ve prepared for. It feels really good just to be practicing football and talking about football again.

“It was good. You could just feel the excitement, the butterflies. I told the kids, I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was ready to go. I think, for the most part, our kids were like that too. I think we were all just excited to be back.”

The Bobcats are looking to rebound from an 0-10 season.

And Livas has lofty goals for his purple-and-yellow clad charges.

“Our destiny is in our hands. We control our destiny,” he said. “Back in November, when we started offseason, we talked about what our goals were going to be, and that’s to get better every single day we’re out here.

“And eventually, we want to get to the playoffs. ... That’s our ultimate goal.”

Kevin J. Keller is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5223, or at sports@mySouTex.com, or follow him on Twitter, @beepicsports.
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