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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Red Devils rested after rare off-week

Published 4:40pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

In football, it’s a well-known fact that you can’t teach speed, and you can’t buy enough depth—no matter how big your team is.

And when your team is lucky to dress out 20 full-time varsity players, as is the case with the Verbena Red Devils, you can’t afford for anyone to miss time.

So when the opportunity came for them to take a week off, Coach Mike Harris was more than happy to rest his already battered roster.

“It helped us get well,” said Harris. “We had two kids (Fred Wright and C.C. Williams) here that would’ve had to sit out with concussions. We’re glad to have a week to hopefully get them cleared.”

A multitude of injuries to Verbena football players have forced junior Jared Mims and other Red Devils to take on more prominent roles.

In a strange turn of events, Verbena’s homecoming game against Fayetteville was cancelled when, ironically, 22 of Fayetteville’s 33 players came down with a stomach virus that rendered them unable to field a competitive team.

“It’s huge,” Harris said. “We only have 18 varsity players. If one gets hurt we end up pulling up junior high players.”

Harris also said losing one starter meant moving players around; losing two meant completely reshaping his schemes.

“We’ve had players play four to five positions,” he said. “Problem is, they don’t practice those four to five positions [during the week]. If we get those two back, it gives us two starts and two seniors.”

While playing with junior high players puts Verbena at a disadvantage, it does help give those players a glimpse of what to expect when they move up.

“It makes them tougher,” said Harris. “It’s like practicing with the varsity; they mature.”

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