PROSPERITY — Coming off a week zero bye, the Mid-Carolina Rebels are set to kick off their 2016 campaign tonight with a home opener against the Chapin Eagles at 7:30 p.m.
“I think we’ve got a scrappy team this year,” said head coach Louie Alexander. “I think we’re going to be very good defensively and I think, over time, we’re going to be OK offensively.”
While the Rebels are returning talented wide-outs, running backs and quarterbacks Alexander said his team needs to develop some depth up front as they currently have players going both ways.
“It’s not something that’s an ideal situation but early on it’s what we have to do until we can develop some kids,” he said.
Although coming off a close loss to River Bluff last week Alexander expects a great challenge from this year’s Eagles whom he described as “solid all the way around.”
“Justin Gentry and that staff do a tremendous job year in and year out so we know that they’re not going to beat themselves,” he said.
Alexander said the key for his team on Friday is to hang in the game and sustain drives, something they struggled with last year instead putting up points mainly off big plays.
In short, he said they need to be tougher and establish a strong run game.
“I’m actually looking forward to it,” he said. “I want to see how our kids respond against someone who’s going to be a little bigger — maybe a little stronger — and see how our kids get after it.”
From the film he’s watched of Chapin’s preseason, Alexander saw a bevy of talent including a big left handed quarterback he described as a “phenomenal.”
However, an intangible advantage the Rebels might have this season is that this squad is one of the “closer-knit bunches” Alexander has had, which he said helps a lot.
When interviewed two days ago he said the starting lineup for tonight’s contest was pretty well set, although over the course of a season he likes to foster an environment where players must continually earn their spot.
“If somebody wants to take somebody’s job they have to compete every day,” he said.
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.