It’s gut check time at Blackman High.
Blackman coach Philip Shadowens questioned his team’s effort following the Blaze’s 42-7 loss to Siegel in both teams’ District 7-AAA opener. The past two days of practice have been about regaining that effort, or finding players who will put forth the effort needed to be successful on the football team.
“We’ve evaluated every position on our football team very critically,” Shadowens said. “We want 11 players on both sides of the ball that will give us great effort. We had some guys that didn’t play with the effort it takes to be successful.
“This week they will either prove that effort or be replaced.”
Shadowens said Wednesday he plans on making some lineup changes, but would not elaborate at what positions. He said Saturday that the quarterback position would be evaluated this week.
Shadowens said after Wednesday’s practice that he expects both junior Matt Williams and senior Chase Smotherman to play Friday at Signal Mountain. Shadowens said sophomore Jauan Jennings has also received snaps this week.
Williams started and was relieved by Smotherman in the loss to the Stars.
“After looking at video, both could have played better,” Shadowens said. “But the people around them were the problems at times. When people around them aren’t playing with the technique needed to be successful, it’s difficult to impossible. It puts them in an impossible situation. That position is one of many that will be evaluated.”
Blackman defeated Signal Mountain 72-35 in 2011. Signal Mountain (1-2) is coming off its first win of the season, a 42-7 win over Bledsoe County. Signal Mountain is led by quarterback Reese Phillips, a Kentucky commitment.
Siegel’s 35-point win over the Blaze was the school’s largest margin of victory over a Murfreesboro opponent. It was the most lopsided Blackman loss since La Vergne whipped the Blaze 52-10 in 2006. Shadowens gave the Blaze a day off Monday, which was something he had planned before the district opener. He said the past two days had been extremely physical and he expected today to also be physical. The day before game day is generally more of a non-contact walk through.
“We have things we need to get addressed,” Shadowens said. “There is a certain level of commitment, and I’m still not convinced. The bottom line is you have to hold the kids accountable.”