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Spirits high as CVC Huskies start 8-man football

Ed Betsworth, football coach at Cedar Valley Christian, shows Tom Scroggs (left) how to defend against Eric Gustafson on Wednesday at the team's first official practice. (Photo by Ken Gilchrist)The Cedar Valley Christian football team does not have its own field, its weight room is located in a garage, only one of the Huskies played football in middle school and there are only 14 players on the brand-new squad.

That doesn't seem to bother any of the players or coaches, judging by all the laughter and smiles Wednesday night during their first official practice at St. Joseph School in Marion.

"I'm really excited," said Luke Long. "I'm loving it," agreed David Sperling. "It's a lot of fun," chimed in Joe Spina.

Long, Sperling and Spina are the only seniors on the team. There are seven juniors, two sophomore and two freshmen. They'll all play this season. They have to.

The Huskies are playing eight-man football, but even an eight-man team needs 16 players for a scrimmage. The Huskies are two players shy.

"I wouldn't say we're crazy," Coach Ed Betsworth said, smiling. "I would say that we like a challenge."

Huskies open four-game season Aug. 19

Cedar Valley Christian will play a limited four-game schedule this season before becoming a full-fledged member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association lineup in 2012. The Huskies open the season Aug. 19 at West Central.

"We're raw," Betsworth acknowledged. "They're basketball and soccer players. I've got one guy who's played any football, and that's it."

It doesn't seem to faze them.

"We're going to have some fun, get some experience," said Spina. "At our school you don't really get a lot of opportunities to play a physical sport."

Sperling played flag football "back in grade school" but has never played tackle football. Eric Gustafson played one year of tackle football at Roosevelt Middle School, which makes him the most experienced player on the squad.

Enthusiasm outweighs players' experience

The Huskies are low on experience, but high on attitude.

"They're enthusiastic about being out for this," said Betsworth, who is the athletic director at LaSalle Middle School and an experienced football coach. "Their spirit is high."

Betsworth was hoping to have 20 players this year. "I got 14," he said. "Next year I hope we do get up to 20."

The Huskies practiced for two hours Wednesday night, all of it devoted to fundamentals. Last week in camp, one of the coaches told a player to line up at tight end. "What's a tight end?" the player asked.

"That kind of put it in perspective for us," said Betsworth. "We have to really simplify this for these guys."

All four of CVC's games will be played on the road this season. The other contests are Sept. 2 at Dunkerton, Sept. 9 at Midland and Sept. 23 at Central City.

"We're coming along nicely," the coach said.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 August 2011 08:40 )  

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