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July 19, 2013

FOOTBALL SUMMER REPORT: With 12 seniors gone, Generals trying to move on this summer

Cooley says 7-on-7 league has helped Clarksville players

CLARKSVILLE — After graduating 12 seniors from last season’s team and being one of the smallest schools in Class 2A, the Clarksville Generals have their work cut out for the 2013 campaign.

Therefore, the Generals have spent a lot of time this summer on the gridiron and in the weight room to prepare themselves for the upcoming season.

“Our numbers are down a little bit, but we’re OK,” fourth-year Clarksville coach Steve Cooley said. “We’re going to play hard and have a lot of fun.”

During June and July, the Generals have played in a 7-on-7 league with West Washington and Mid-Southern Conference rivals North Harrison and Eastern. The leagues have scrimmages every Tuesday, and the teams have rotated hosting the weekly games each week. The players are required to wear helmets and shoulder pads during the scrimmages.

Cooley says the league has helped his team improve its skills.

“We’ve gotten better because of it,” said Cooley, whose squad will play a 7-on-7 scrimmage against Jeffersonville later this month. “It’s worked out for everybody. We’ve stayed healthy and that’s the key.”

The Generals have been going through weightlifting sessions three days a week this summer.

During his team’s offseason training activities, Cooley has been searching for certain intangibles from his squad, which will only have three seniors in 2013.

“We want to see if we can compete,” Cooley said. “We want to see how kids respond from adversity and how they respond to big plays. We’re trying to find kids who can play. We want to develop guys who can play [on both sides of the ball].”

The main question for the Generals this season is who will be their starting quarterback. Juniors Andrew Wright and Wyatt Kissel are in the running to replace last year’s quarterback Aidan McEwen.

Cooley also will be looking in training camp for someone to fill the void left by defensive end Jake Matthews, who graduated last school year.

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