Smyrna faces rebuild project

Smyrna faces rebuild project

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Smyrna faces rebuild project

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SMYRNA

Call it a rebuilding season.

There won’t be many that disagree.

Smyrna High enters the 2012 having to reload and rebuild after graduating all but three starters from a year ago.

To make matters worse, there aren’t many on the roster that saw much playing time off the bench last season for the Bulldogs, which finished 6-5 and lost to Franklin in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

“We are going to have on the job training for our guys,” Smyrna coach Matt Williams said. “Only three or four played on Friday nights under the lights. They are working hard, but this group does not have a lot of experience.

“But they make up for that with heart and work ethic. This is one of the hardest working groups that I’ve had. I’ve told them they have to make it up in hard work and determination because I know there isn’t a lot of experience playing under the lights.”

Smyrna High has one of the toughest non-district slates in the state with non-conference games with Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood, Franklin, Olive Branch, Miss. and Ravenwood. All but Ravenwood made the playoffs in 2011. There is not much room for error.

The offense will likely evolve around Chase Murphy, who played at fullback in 2011. However, this season he will likely split time at quarterback and running back. He has been in a position battle with Matt Rodell during the preseason.

Murphy had 16 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown in a limited role for the Bulldogs last season. Murphy and running back Ladarious Summers are the lone two on the roster that has carried the football more than one time in a Smyrna varsity contest.

Murphy gives the Bulldogs a dual-threat quarterback. However, Rodell is farther along as a passer.

“I’m not afraid to play either,” Williams said. “Matt is more of an accomplished passer because he has been at that position. Chase is a better runner. Both have strengths.”

Kyle Smith will also run the ball along with Summers and Murphy. Taylor Gardner also is projected to play in the backfield.

Xavier Kynard returns at receiver. He caught two passes for 13 yards in limited time. Pernell Whitaker, Daryl Harrelson and DJ Williams will also be at receiver. Dustin Boone is at tight end.

Ricky Camacho provides the only experience on the offensive line. He will play either at center or guard. Others expected to see time include Jonathan Reynolds, Landon Ramey and Alex Stanley.

Curtis Jones will move from defensive end to noseguard. Desean Williams remains at defensive end. They both started on the line last season. Dustin Boone is at outside linebacker and will be the leader of the linebackers.

The secondary will include a combination of Dallas Brown, DJ Williams, Summers, Whitaker, Smith and Rodney Shelton.

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