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Wilson Hall coach is happy with football returnees; depth is still a concern

The Sumter Item sports writer Danny Kelly conducted a question-and-answer interview with each of the 12 high school football coaches in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties, asking each the same five questions about their recently concluded spring practices. Today we have Wilson Hall head coach Adam Jarecki.

Q: What was your No. 1 goal in spring practice and do you feel like you accomplished that?

A: I wanted to make sure, find out, who we had playing, and what we had coming back. Kind of to see where are numbers were, and we accomplished that. Feel like we did. We got a good idea of who we have coming back and where they would be. Yeah, I think that went well.

Q: Were there any players who stood out to you?

A: Our offensive line; we’re returning four of our five starters, and they’ve had a great preseason and offseason attitude, and they worked really hard. They’ve done well in the weight room, and they’ve been kind of our leaders as far as offseason stuff has gone. That was something we got out of the spring practice. To get a kind of gauge of where we were in those kind of places. That’s a good starting point. The main thing we found out is that we don’t have a great deal of depth in our skill department. We lost three of our backfield people, and we gotta replace those and have some depth at the same time. That’s kinda where we need to go.

Q: Was there anything that left you concerned?

A: Our numbers are about the same on the varsity, and our JV (junior varsity) numbers are really good. That’s the starting point. We gotta have more numbers. We’re about the same as we were last year. We’re going to be right around the 30 mark, maybe a little less. That, when you start talking about low numbers, and then you start worrying about getting someone hurt and being able to replace them. That’s kind of a concern for us. The majority of our team last year was sophomores, so they’re a little bit older, and relatively still young when you look at it. I feel like they’ve had a great offseason, and they’re kinda ready to get going. Just not a great deal of depth.

Q: Where do you need to make the most progress over summer entering fall?

A: Getting more reps. We’re going to have some people playing spots where they haven’t really played before, a little bit. We just gotta get more reps in things — we gotta throw more, we gotta catch more balls, we gotta run our offensive stuff more, get down to the little, small details. We gotta be able to run that more, and those are things we’re doing in our summer conditioning. When we get a chance to throw it some on our 7-on-7, and work individual drills with some of them, so that’s helping. Getting more reps; you know, the more we do things, the better we’ll get.

Q: What was one area or position you feel like you solidified in the spring?

A: We got a good idea of who’s going to be everywhere really. We’re returning Graham Van Patten, as our running back that’s returning, and we’re going to put a lot of weight on him. He’s going to be one of our main people in the backfield, and we kinda knew that. Like I said, the four offensive lineman that we have returning. They’ve all gotten a little bigger, a little stronger, and they’ve had a great attitude. That part has been a lot of fun. We’re just going to kinda build off of that with all of these young people we’ve got. I’m really excited about our JV numbers though. When you know what you’ve got down the road, you’re going to be in good shape with numbers, and we’re looking at 35-36 JV players. That’s two grades, so we’re pretty excited about that.

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