Wildcats back with new face under center
by By RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports editor
Oct 04, 2012 | 794 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AFTER A WEEK OFF, The Polk County Wildcats will be back in action Friday with a road trip to Signal Mountain. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
AFTER A WEEK OFF, The Polk County Wildcats will be back in action Friday with a road trip to Signal Mountain. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
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BENTON — “You’d think you would have a chance to heal up, but we lost our quarterback (Duncan Coffey) in a motorcycle accident. He broke his collar bone,” said a somewhat dejected Derrick Davis. “So, if that’s going to happen it’s happened in a good week seeing as how we’ve had an extra week to get Josh Silas ready and also get Isaac Smith ready. But, we feel good about Josh. We did work him all through fall scrimmages. He got a lot of work. Plus, he comes in when we go to the Power-I and runs quarterback. I hate it for Duncan and he feels terrible that it happened.”

“But, if you go to any Friday night game or turn the TV on Saturday or Sunday, a lot of teams face this. The lose players. It’s happened to us and there is nobody on our schedule that is going to feel bad for us. It’s our job to move on and that’s what we are going to do.”

Silas, according to the plan set up at the moment will be the field general for the Wildcats unless something drastic happens. A scenario Davis is already taking steps to be prepared for.

“Isaac needs to understand he is one play away. It is what we have talked about all year. The way I look at it is, it’s an opportunity for some other guys to step up. We talk it all the time. This is a big example of how they need to practice like they are a play away from getting called on,” he said.

Silas, a junior, who is no stranger to running the Wildcats’ offense is stepping directly into a yellowjacket’s nest, or rather a nest of angry Eagles at who will no doubt focus their attention on the relatively new face under center.

“Signal Mountain has lost three games (Tyner, Blackman, East Hamilton) and they have gotten better as the year has gone along. They have plenty, plenty, plenty of talent. We are gong to play extremely hard and everybody is going to have to pick it up a notch. Collectively we are going to have to make up for the loss of Coffey,” said the Polk Coach.

So far, so good.

“I thought we had a good week of practice last week after it happened. We’re working hard. It makes you sick, but also I think the players are determined to play our brand of football. We are looking at this as an opportunity for someone to play hard, do the things they need to do and step up to get us where we need to be,” he stated.

The good news is Polk will be facing a non-district opponent in the Eagles. Win or lose, the outcome will not affect Polk’s run to another championship. Either way, Davis said he has full confidence in his new starter.

“It’s not a district game, but I have all the confidence in the world in Silas. He was right there as one of our choices when it came down to decision time as to who was going to be our starting quarterback and we went with Duncan,” he said. “It’s not like he (Silas) is just coming of junior varsity. He starts at cornerback. He starts part time at wingback, he returns punts and he is on special teams. He is a guy that plays Friday night. He’s not a big player, but neither were a lot of guys who have come through here. The thing is, he is a tough player. I think the kids have a lot of confidence in him. I know the coaches do.”

Davis hopes to see a large contingent of Polk County Wildcats fans on top of the mountain Friday when game time rolls around.

“I’ve said over the years that I don’t know of another group of fans that travel like we do. The come out here every Friday night and fill the stands and sometimes we have more fans than the home team at the schools we visit. Our kids may not say much about it, but they know and I know. It means a lot to have the support of the community. We need that support now more than ever,” he said.