Coach Cash and the Gryphons Middle/High
Posted August 3, 2012
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Daily Courier- Back to Basics
AVONDALE — Veteran head coach, Jerry Cash, has seen plenty of preseason practices throughout his career. But that experience as done little to dampen his enthusiasm as he stepped on the field Tuesday for Thomas Jefferson’s second official football practice of the year.
“There is always a sense of anticipation and excitement this time of year,” said Cash. “That doesn’t change no matter how long you have been coaching.”
Those feelings were not limited to Cash, however, as the Gryphons enjoyed a record turnout for their first practice of 2012.
“We had 36 kids come out the first day and that was great to see,” said Cash. “They worked very hard and did everything you asked them to with a yes sir. I love that attitude, so I think the first day went very well.”
Even though he was pleased with TJCA’s performance in their first practice, Cash admits the Griffs still have a long way to go before the season opens on Aug. 17.
“Some of these players have never played football and weren’t able to be with us during the optional workouts,” Cash said. “So this is only the first or second time they have ever been on a football field. They are working very hard to get better, but we had to start with the basics.”
To that end, Cash and his staff have kept practices vanilla, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
“We put in three running plays and two passing plays,” Cash said. “Once the team has a good grasp of those plays, we can progress and add in some more.”
Even with a limited number of plays in place, one player has caught Cash’s eye — running back Will McCraw.
“Will had over 1,000 yards last year and should touch the ball a few more times because we are going to try to control the ball more to cut down on turnovers,” said Cash. “He is a very strong young man that that can bench 345 pounds and he is not afraid to stick his nose up in there. I look for Will to have a great season.”
For his part, McCraw relishes the prospect of more carries.
“We are going to run more and I am excited to touch the ball,” McCraw said. “It will give me an opportunity to run for even more yards and help the team.”
Of course a greater emphasis on the ground game means the offensive lineman have to take a different approach than in past seasons.
“I love run blocking,” said center, Anthony Helton. “It’s a whole new mindset than when you are pass blocking. When you are pass blocking, it’s like you are going backwards, where as in run blocking you are going forward.
“I like going forward.”
When the Gryphons do pass the ball this season, Cash said that there is plenty of experience at the quarterback and wide receiver positions for them to be successful.