Concord hopes to rely on last years top rusher and top tackler to rebound after losing 17 starters from their 3A state runner-up team.The Spiders want junior back Rocky Reid, who rushed for 1,590 yards and 14 touchdowns, and senior linebacker Logan Sedergren, who recorded 132 tackles, to continue playing at a high level to help them stay near the top of the South Piedmont 3A standings.Kids coming back are excited about the challenge, said Concord coach Glen Padgett.Sedergren will be joined by Jerry Burk, an experienced senior who had 116 tackles last season, to solidify the defenses middle for the Spiders.Theyve played in big ball games, he said. Thats something that translates on Friday nights. ... Were going to have to utilize that experience to help us get over the top.Reid will be joined by offensive linemen Austin Motsinger and Tyler Zaroff as the only returners on offense.Concord will be without four-year starting quarterback B.J. Beecher and top receivers Alex Asbury, Zosh Heilig and Parker Swaringen, who combined for more than 3,000 yards and 34 touchdowns last fall.Padgett said Graham Pruette and Kenan Black will look to split time at quarterback. Pruette was last years back-up, doing a good job filling in for Beecher after he came down against Freedom in the state semifinals, while Black threw for more than 1,200 yards for the Spiders junior varsity team.They both bring a lot of different things to the table, Padgett said. They compete with each other during practice, but also root for each other. Weve been really pleased with the progress of both.Having Reid back and lacking experience at receiver, Concord may not look to pass as often as years past.Were not changing what we do, but our emphasis will be different, said Padgett. In high school, you can have a philosophy, but you have to adapt that to your players talent. ... You have to constantly tweak things to what your players do the best.Defensively, the Spiders graduated their entire secondary and three starters on defensive line. Dez Scott, who started up front as a freshman, is the only returner back to help Concords experienced linebacker duo of Burk and Sedergren.Padgett said the Spiders have looked for last years role players and varsity newcomers to fill the other roles. How those players react to starting roles on Friday nights will be key for the Spiders.As long as were getting better and are learning, I think well have the opportunity to be a pretty successful team, said Padgett.Concord doesnt have much time to adjust. The team faces an early challenge, playing A.L. Brown in their annual Bell Game, which traditionally has been the teams biggest game of the regular season.Not only are they our biggest rival, but theyre a power house, said Padgett. Its tough because a lot of times in opening games youre still working out kinks. ... Needless to say theres a little more emphasis on this game than any regular opener.The fifth-year Spider coach said that has fueled his teams preparation.Theres a sense of urgency amongst the players, amongst the coaches, said Padgett.He also knows there will be mistakes made in games early in the year, but he hopes that will prepare them for South Piedmont 3A conference play.The only way to get that experience is to play, said Padgett. Theres no substitute for it.
Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013
Concord Spiders look to returning leaders to show the way
Concord Coach: Glen Padgett (Fifth year). 2012 record: 13-3, 3A state runners-up. Returning starters: Six. Key players: • RB Rocky Reid, Jr.: Spiders expect him to pick up right where he left off after last year’s breakout campaign. • LB Jerry Burk/Logan Sedergren, Jrs.: Duo returns to solidify the middle for the Spiders’ inexperienced defense. Can’t-miss games: at A.L. Brown, Aug. 23, at Hickory Ridge, Sept. 13; at West Rowan, Oct. 25
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