Morgan football begins season of change

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The bell rang for Morgan Academy Friday evening, and the evaluation process began.

The Senators’ first day of practice was the beginning of a week that will be telling for the team.

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Belief abounds that this group will be better after missing the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.

Just how much better remains to be seen.

“The first week is going to be really critical,” coach Robert Gartman said. “A lot of young kids are going to have to learn before the end of the week in order to have any idea of what they need to do. They’re not going to be able to do it in their sleep, but they’re going to get a working knowledge of it.”

It’s Gartman’s hope his bunch can hit the ground running once the team starts going full-speed next week.

He promised changes for the 2007 season, but there’s no need for the die-hard, old school Morgan fans to worry.

The Senators haven’t changed pants; they’ve just ironed the creases.

“There’s going to be lots of new wrinkles in the offense,” Gartman said. “We’ll spread the field a little bit more. We’re running basically the same plays but out of different formations. We’ve stayed with the Veer, and we’ve watched tapes of ways to do things without allowing eight or nine guys to crowd the line of scrimmage.”

Defensively, things will be a bit more fundamental. Moving personnel around was the biggest task for the team during the spring.

Braxton Fuller has been tabbed as an anchor both on the defensive line and at linebacker in Morgan’s 3-4 scheme.

Jim Boozer will play a prominent role on both sides of line, and Jay Gilmer will line up at tight end and defensive end.

Daniel Lee steps in full-time at quarterback this season, with the possibility that he will see time at defensive back.

All four players are entering their final year and know by now what is expected of them.

“They’re all seniors, and we really talked to them about stepping up to play like seniors,” Gartman said. “Lee’s got a good handle on the offense, and none of them lack confidence, that’s for sure.”