Article and Photo By Heather Foster
Usually scrimmages are very routine. It’s good for the players to clean up assignment and alignment issues while facing different colored jerseys, but for fans, it’s normally just another routine week that leads us closer to pre-district play. But for 2020, Newton’s scrimmage against Buna was REAL FOOTBALL in the minds of fans and a very welcomed site for a sport many contemplated might not happen.
Although the night ended with a scoreless live quarter, Newton dominated much of the scrimmage with Nate William’s sharp accuracy, De’Anthony Gatson’s brute strength, and Trinis Wash’s quick speed. This trio will be exciting to watch as we anticipate many trips into the endzone under Coach Tabor Westbrook’s offense. But one group the AD/HC Drew Johnston pointed out as doing a great job against the Cougars in his talk with the players after the scrimmage was the young O-Line. Leading the Eagles offensive front is Sophomores Ethan Lott, Jamarion Hanks, Noah Nava, Junior Tyriq Gatson, and Senior Cole Casper.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagle’s defense was true to form. Newton was quick, physical, and they swarmed the ball. Senior DreShawn Spikes led the Eagles last year in tackles, and with more talent coming up, it should make for another hard-hitting season for Coach Jeremy Russell’s defense.
Overall, Johnston said of the scrimmage, “I thought we flew around well. Saw some really good things. Also saw some things we can work on. We all came out healthy and got better and that’s always the goal.”
After a very rocky start to the season, the Eagles coaches, players, and fans are ready to start the pre-season schedule. Newton will travel to Woodville this Friday to face the black and gold, a former rival who has not played each other since 2013. This game, however, will be determined as weather forecasts unfold. In 2020, flexibility is required.