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Cougars fight numbers war

September 05, 2000

Cougars fight numbers war



By DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Writer


THURMONT, Md. - Every autumn for the last 10 years, Catoctin coach Doug Williams has faced the same challenge - piecing together a football team despite a lack of numbers.

Consider this: In 2000, the Cougars' varsity team - 24 players - is barely capable of running a full intrasquad scrimmage.

"I talk to every kid in the school," Williams said, "but the kids have to want to come out. ... Football's not for everyone."

But football is for Williams. So every year, instead of worrying about the lack of depth, he worries about turning the players he has into the best team they can be.

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"The atmosphere is great," Williams said. "These kids shut their mouths and they work hard. There are nothing but positives."

Playing for Catoctin means playing every down, on offense and defense. That's life as a Cougar, and something senior captains Aaron Venebles, Adam Wivell, Ray Walker and Brad Nesbitt have adjusted to.

"We just condition harder and stay in shape, cause you know you have to play both ways," Nesbitt said.

"We don't have the numbers," Walker said, "but the 11 we have in there are a strong 11."

Coming off a 2-8 campaign last season, the Cougars have a couple strengths that Williams believes could lead to greater success this season.

The defense, a 4-4 scheme which allowed 27.5 points per game last year, returns six starters, including Wivell and Walker on the defensive line, Venebles at linebacker and Nesbitt at defensive back.

"We're better defensively than we are offensively right now," Williams said.

On offense, Wivell and Walker will play on the offensive line, while Venebles leads the rushing attack and Nesbitt will run the show at quarterback.

The Cougars plan on running the double-wing, a varitaion of the wing-T which can be played either in tight or spaced out. At times last year, the set was so tight it presented unforseen problems for opposing defenses.

"You can spread (it out) and run the offense, or be tight and run the same offense," Williams said.

The key to offensive success for the Cougars will be to alternate the running game with a few well-timed passing plays to keep defenses off-balance. "We're gonna have to mix it up if we want to move the ball," Williams said.

Progress has been slow in preseason workouts, but the seniors see improvement. "We're functioning as a unit, and we've got more plays this year," Wivell said. "We've got a stronger core, and we've all been playing together."

"I've noticed a big difference from the first day until now," Venebles said.

The four captains all share the same goal: to be competitive in every game, starting against Catonsville on Friday.

"Even if we are 2-8, we'd like to come out and surprise every team we play," Walker said.

But the seniors won't carry Catoctin on their own. Other players will have to step up and fill in the holes if the Cougars are to have a winning season.

"They have to come through if we're to be successful," Williams said. "All (24) have to come through."

Catoctin Roster


No.PlayerYr.Pos.Ht.Wt.

3Justin PickettSr.WB/LB5-8168

4Bruce BoydJr.FB/DE6-0204

6Josh EylerJr.RB/DB5-11171

8Quinn WilliamsJr.RB/LB5-10202

9Brad NesbittSr.QB/CB5-9145

12Alez AdlesbergerJr.TE/LB6-0185

20Ryan NesbittSo.RB/LB5-7142

27John LittleSr.WR/DB5-6129

28Rich PhillipsJr.SE/DB5-9170

32Aaron VeneblesSr.WB/LB6-2200

45Kevin FavoriteSr.SE/FS5-9140

51Brian HillisJr.T/DT5-7190

52Wayne LandryJr.OG/DE5-10165

55Vance ClickJr.OL/DE5-10135

57Ryan ShmidtJr.T/LB5-8180

58Marcus WilliamsJr.OT/DT5-9185

67Devon BradshawSr.OF/DT6-0205

69Ray WalkerSr.Q/SD5-9195

72Adam WivellSr.Q/LB5-9185

73Bradley StidomSo.C/LB6-0170

74Ricky HawkinsSr.C/DT6-0170

75Andy KinmanSo.OG/LB5-8190

77James HigginsSo.C/DE5-9170

80Kenny GentileSr.WB/LB5-10155

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