Sage Hill displays new look

Tolver's second season at the Lightning helm will feature schemes unlike those he used as a rookie.

September 02, 2010|By Barry Faulkner,
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

New-look white helmets with big green lightning bolts and players' uniform numbers underneath won't be the only novel elements this season for the Sage Hill School football team.

Second-year coach J.R. Tolver said that a tectonic shift in personnel has also forced him and his staff back to the drawing board on both sides of the ball.

"At a small school, you never really have a handle on it," Tolver said of a system aimed at continuity. "Honestly, we threw out the playbook we used last year and started over, because the team is so much different than it was last year.

"I've learned that you can't be married to a system, because you might not have the players to fit it. One of the challenges for me and my staff is always going to be to realize what we have and then to see what we can create for those players to be successful."


So, the offense, without a veteran, physical line, will feature less smashmouth and more dazzle.

And the defense has shifted from a four-three scheme to a three-three-five.

And while Tolver listed the varsity roster at 34 players, he said only about 16 would constitute those he would count upon between the sidelines. So, depth will be a concern.

Here's a position-by-position look at the Lightning:

Quarterback: Senior Randall Mycorn returns here after earning second-team All-Academy League laurels in a junior season hampered by a separated shoulder. He completed 43 of 93 attempts for 544 yards and eight touchdowns, with nine interceptions.

He is bigger and stronger this season, which may come in handy behind an offensive line that returns only one starter.

"Athletically, he has always been gifted," Tolver said. "Now, he has the size to back it up. I think he'll play extremely well."

Mycorn should also benefit from the Lightning's inaugural summer passing league experience.

Sophomore Harrison Ray is slated to trigger the offense for the junior varsity and he will be an option as a backup, Tolver said.

And senior Taylor Ross, the starting tailback who saw time last year as a quarterback, though primarily as a runner, has worked on his passing abilities, should he be called upon again.

"[Ross] is not a natural thrower, but he is just a natural football player," Tolver said.

Tolver also said the team would utilize more shotgun formation this season in order to bide more time for Mycorn in the pocket.

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