The Sturgis football team heads to Niles this week and takes on a Vikings squad that lost to Battle Creek Lakeview at home 28-0 to open the year. The Trojans are coming off a 55-0 home loss to Portage Central.
Sturgis head coach Jimmy Lamb told JoeInsider.com junior tight end/linebacker Jacob Haas suffered a concussion in Week 1 and will not play at Niles. During Tuesday’s practice, junior wideout/offensive lineman Jack Scheske injured his back. He will be evaluated Friday and it’s possible he’ll be in the lineup. Senior running back/defensive back Max Maher has a severely bruised knee and might miss this weekend’s action.
Niles likes to run a five-receiver set offense; they like to chuck the ball down the field,” Lamb said. “The QB has a decent arm and their receivers have the ability to make big plays for them. Their running game is a double option read with either shovel pass or an option look when they are running the ball.
Keys for a Sturgis win
“We need to not get beat when we are playing the deep ball,” Lamb said. “We need guys on the option running their assignments. Everybody has a job to do and if they do it we should be just fine.”
Wiping the slate clean
Such a lopsided loss to the Mustangs last week took its toll on the Trojans, Lamb admitted. Practices on Tuesday and Wednesday were sub-par and Lamb said “we were still letting Portage Central loom in the air.”
“About an hour into practice [Wednesday] I got after kids for not having helmets strapped up and mouth pieces in,” Lamb added. “It was the little things that I tried to show them are still important. After that, players began to hold each other accountable, more competition, more excitement, enthusiasm and we started look like a cohesive unit. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s practice to see how much more we can accomplish and see where kids mindsets are.”
Niles doesn’t have a junior varsity team, so Sturgis is bringing up Tristen Stewart, Jake Stevens and Liam Adams.
“Liam has really impressed me this week. He has definitely grabbed my, as well as the other coaches’ attention at receiver,” Lamb explained.
Senior Kalvyn Bowdish did not play in the opener due to a suspension for a violation of team rules, and he’s having some trouble getting into a groove, though Lamb is happy to have him back in the mix.
Senior quarterback Chance Stewart is working on footwork this week, and Lamb is “excited about what he is able to do now … having options for when the pocket closes around him.”
The offensive line has improved at picking up blitzes and run blocked, Lamb added, and “defensively as a unit, [players] starting to understand their roles more and what is expected of them to be successful. The last hour of practice [Wednesday) they had an attitude.”