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Cougars focus on fundamentals to prep for season
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
August 07, 2013 09:40 AM | 1388 views | 3 3 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian Dansereau does warmups during the first day of practice last week at Alexander.
Brian Dansereau does warmups during the first day of practice last week at Alexander.
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Alexander head coach Matt Combs will have nine returning starters on offense and seven returning starters on defense in his fourth season with the Cougars in 2013.

He named 12 players he individually feels will have a major impact on the season — center Cameron Carder, receiver and corner Ernest Carter, all around athlete Brian Dansereau, guard and defensive end Deion Evans, Collin Geisey, slot and corner Quinton Gissentanner, Mikell Lands-Davis, slot and corner Darrel Mims, tight end and outside linebacker Logan Mushro, guard and linebacker Taylor Schartle, tailback and nose guard Tyler Tolbert and left tackle Josh Turner.

The team also will have enough seniors, 22, to fill the entire offense and defense.

While all of his seniors were not listed as impact players, Combs made it clear all the senior players have done a great job and put in the work to get where they are now. He said he appreciates all they’ve done and will do this season.

Coaching them all since they first began at Alexander, the seniors have worked with Combs and each other for years. Now it’s time to show that experience on the field, he said.

“Eleven have started multiple games since they were sophomores…They’ve done a great job…The offensive line and defensive line are heavy in seniors,” Combs said.

Finishing last year with a 2-8 record in Region 5-AAAA and winning their last two games, Combs said the summer has been spent in the weight room, going to camps and fine tuning the little things to improve on their record – including going back to the fundamentals and working on better pursuit of the ball.

With this season’s schedule being the same as last year’s, the Cougars will begin play against Class AA Bremen Aug. 24 at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton. Combs said he knows what to expect from a team to whom Alexander lost 34-28 in 2012.

“It’s a big stage out at West Georgia. Last year we played a good two quarters of football, but let them come back in the last quarter and a half. Hats off to them, they’re a grinding team…We have to play physical with them,” Combs said.

When it comes to the team this year, Combs said, “What’s unique about these guys is that we’re returning a lot of seniors.

“The expectations are to win more games than last season. We have to grind them out. Take it one play at a time, one game at a time.

“We have gotten bigger and gotten stronger. We can’t let the other teams push us. We have to play our game and focus on the little things.”
Comments
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Cougar Fan
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August 18, 2013
Maybe the coach should include the entire team and not just the seniors this year--just might impact the outcome of the game!
F. Thomas
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August 10, 2013
Head Coach record for three years at Alexander 8 wins 22 losses, winning percentage 0.222 Enough said.
cougar dad
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September 04, 2013
a) coaches name impact players to motivate those guys...call them out...make em step up; as well as to motivate the unnamed guys enough to up their game. This is GA HS Football... there is no certificate of participation...

b) a prime reason for the firing of the previous coach was how he screwed the program for development and scheduling (pass 3 seasons were scheduled by the OLD coach). Hence, a new coach needs a few seasons to see their own scheduling and player development make it's way to the win-loss column at the varsity level.

This year, the team is bigger, faster & stronger than they've ever been. All of these kids are football players. This team will kick some butts and make it clear that this is a great football program.

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