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East Clarendon football’s Cook optimistic coming out of spring practice

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 East Clarendon High School head coach Scott Cook.

Q: What was your No. 1 goal entering spring practice, and did you accomplish it?

A: Our No. 1 goal is to make sure we get everybody back out there, get them back in football mode. We were wrapping up school and all that and getting ready for the summer. This is the first summer that we had that we had everybody, just about everybody, back; we graduated like five seniors. Put (in) a new offense last year with Coach Joedy Cook and then Coach (Brandon) Shaw has come on as our defensive coordinator, so we’re mainly focused in on some defense a lot more. But I think we accomplished our goals, what we wanted to do for spring practice heading into summer.

Q: Who was an individual who stood out to you during practice?

A: Well, I mean, I thought Keyon Wilson had a good spring practice and is having a good showing right now at cornerback for us. Keyon is a rising junior; he’s a big corner, gives us a little size and height out there. He stood out for us. We’re returning all our offensive linemen back (except for one) from last year, and our offensive line has been with us for three years, so they’re gonna be a little bit older; they did a good job. Cub Cook stepped in at quarterback, who started his last two games at quarterback last year as a sophomore; we won those two games, so, you know, he did a good job. Marquis Webb at running back did a good job. You know, I was impressed with our defense. Our defensive line and linebackers are really getting after it.

Q: What left you disappointed or concerned with what you saw?

A: Just keeping everybody healthy. You know, we finally developed some depth and then my concern is health. I mean, keeping everybody healthy is the main thing for us, I think.

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

A: Probably throwing the football; working on throwing a little bit more. I think we’ll be solid in the running game. I think we need to really concentrate on throwing more. Also our defense; coverage. We gave up a lot of third-and-long plays last year, so we got some things we really need to focus on.

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

A: We graduated our center; that’s the only offensive lineman we lost, so we need to work at the center spot. The other linemen have been with us a couple years. They’ve been with us the last two, three years. We’ve been playing with them since they were freshmen, and now they’re juniors and seniors this year. So they put in their time in developing some depth at the offensive line. I think our starting offensive line is our best asset we have right now.

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