Young QB improving along with rest of THS offense

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011

As Thorsby quarterback Brade McRae improves, so do the rest of the Rebels.

It’s both cause and effect.

McRae, a sophomore, plays one of the most important positions on the field, and his play certainly helps determine the team’s success. But McRae has been aided this season by other players who are also coming into their own.

The latest example was Thorsby’s first win of the season, 32-7 over Shades Mountain Christian last week. It was the best performance by the Rebels as a team and by McRae as an individual—good enough to earn The Clanton Advertiser’s Player of the Week honor.

“It’s just game speed—getting used to that,” Thorsby coach Billy Jackson said about McRae’s progress. “Sometimes you just can’t simulate what another team is going to do. So until you’re just out there and you see that…”

McRae seemed to adjust quickly last week, as he passed for 157 yards and ran for another 120 yards.

His rushing ability is an important aspect of his game—and an important skill for a quarterback to possess in order to run the spread offense that Thorsby utilizes.

Running backs Carlos Campos and Kip Cleckley—both seniors who entered the season with little playing experience—have eased the load on McRae. Campos leads the team with 118 yards rushing.

“Once we pick it up at the run game, we’ll be a pretty good offense,” Jackson said. “We’ll get better and better at that. It just takes time.”

Also, veterans Jonathon Spivey and Brady Garrigus are anchoring the offensive line, and receivers Taylor Gunn, Stephen Mims and Matt Morgan have been dynamic. Morgan leads the Chilton County area with an average of 81 receiving yards per game.

“It helps that everybody else around him is getting better too,” Jackson said of McRae.

But no player is more representative of Thorsby’s improvement than McRae.

“Braden is a smart kid…And you have to have that in a leadership position. And he’s athletic; he’s got a strong arm, and he runs well,” Jackson said. “I think the sky’s the limit for him.”