Rebels close to turnaround

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thorsby football coach Billy Jackson knows his team is getting better.

His biggest task is to help the Rebels see it themselves.

Winless Thorsby keeps getting closer to breaking through for a win—the latest example was last week’s 34-24 loss to a solid Billingsley team—but Jackson must stave off the frustration that comes when an inexperienced team struggles.

“They played hard Friday. We’re just inexperienced,” Jackson said. “We’re going to have growing pains this year; it’s going to happen.”

Sophomore quarterback Braden McRae is especially feeling the pressure. McRae has played well—he has completed about half of his attempts for averages of more than 100 yards and one touchdown per game—but Jackson knows that QB is the most visible position on the field.

Jackson talked to McRae this week and drew a parallel with his season so far and the start of Andrew Farris’ varsity career. Thorsby went 0-10 during Farris’ first season as a starter (his sophomore year). As a senior, Farris led Thorsby to a school record-tying eight wins by accounting for 37 touchdowns and more than 2,500 total yards.

Quarterback isn’t the only position with a new face. Thorsby has nine new defensive starters, and the only returning skill position player—senior receiver Stephen Mims—hasn’t played since he suffered any injury during the first game of the season.

“They’re getting a lot better real quick,” Jackson said. “I know everybody is disappointed. Expectations are high here. I tell them there’s a difference between getting beat and losing. You lose if you give up. You can still hold your head high if you get beat because you gave it everything you had.

“We got beat Friday night.”

Because they’re losing the right way, the Rebels will soon know how to win.