By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
CORBIN — The Corbin Redhounds are coming off their first losing season since 1995, which means head coach Steve Jewell is looking to get the 2013 season started on a positive note.
The Redhounds lost three games by a single touchdown last season and one game by three points, so Jewell’s team was close in four of the five losses.
While Friday’s matchup against Middlesboro is only a scrimmage, Jewell said he’s using the game as a chance to get a solid platform to evaluate the team and figure out if he and his staff have all the pieces in the right place.
“Obviously, we’ve not had an opportunity to evaluate our guys very much, but we have filmed a few practices to review,” Jewell said. “We’ve got to look hard at the film and make any changes we need to make and try to figure out what we’re doing well.
“On the other side of things, we also have to find out some things that maybe we’re not doing as well and maybe throw it out of whatever package we’re running at the time,” he added. “We’ll get together and take a long hard look at Friday night’s game on film and go from there.”
While a lot of coaches don’t pay a lot of attention to scoring in preseason scrimmages, Jewell said that’s not necessarily the case this week. He said it’s important to do good things in this kind of game so that the players are able to feed off a positive experience.
“It’s really a yes-and-no situation as far as scoring goes in these games,” Jewell said. “Yes, because you want this to be a positive experience for the kids and no, because we’re going to be funneling in so many kids trying to get a look at a variety of them.
“We’re going to try to keep a corps of guys in there that we feel pretty comfortable with at this time, but there’s a lot of areas we’ll be looking at,” he added. “That said, we’re going to look at the scoreboard, but it’s not going to be the determining factor as far as the game goes. We’ll be more concerned about the score next week than we are this week.”
There haven’t been any big surprises in the Redhounds’ camp in the preseason, but Jewell said he knows that could easily change today. One of the most important things he and his staff are looking forward to is seeing the Redhounds pound on somebody other than their teammates. The road to the season opener has been a long one and Jewell said he knows his players get tired of competing against the same teammates in practice.
“I know that’s not what you want to hear as far as people standing out, but until you go against other competition, you can’t get a true measure on some kids,” Jewell said. “It’s a different ball game to see real action when you’ve been going against the same competition in practice.
“This is a huge thing as far as evaluation goes, so I hope their intensity is higher than it has been in practice,” he added. “I think they’re ready for something because it’s been a long few weeks of beating up on each other and competing against each other in drills.”
The Redhounds will be back in action in their season opener next Friday as they travel to Somerset to face Southwestern in the Ray Correll Bowl at Somerset High School.