2013 KHQA BARNSTORM TOUR: UNDERSTAFFED BOMBERS STILL DREAM BIG
In terms of overall numbers....theirs is essentially a 1A small school roster masquerading in Class 4A Football.
On the surface, it is something less than a ideal situation for the Macomb Bombers; and one that befuddles their head coach.
But pardon me now while I delve into Kelly Sears-speak..
While Macomb may not have a lot of Players.....they players that the Bombers do have...are certifiably players....
Yes...I too have been hanging around the unofficial Mayor of Bluffs too long because Kelly's sentiment makes perfect sense to me.
Kelly Sears: "I've got 35 kids that are here. They work hard. Our morale has been great. Our tempo has been upbeat."
DJ Williams: "The guys that are here...they are all working their butts off...I mean, there is nothing we can ask more from them. They are all working hard, doing whatever the coach is telling them to do. That's all we can ask for. This is a GOOD group of guys."
As thin as the roster may be, Kelly Sears seems to have hit the lottery in terms of finding Defensive Playmakers. Truly a must for his system and for any team bidding goodbye to the likes of Brett Taylor, Nick Severs, and Jared Rockhold. But even in their absence, the Bomber Front Eight looks plenty stout, led by a pair of stellar, Athletic Defensive Ends in DJ Williams and Alema Stone..and a once "Supporting Cast" Linebacker group overshadowed no more.
Reed Sprinkle: "We have a lot of speed, a lot of strength, and everybody likes to hit hard."
Kelly Sears: "We had a linebacker that played in the shadows of Brett last year. And that was Tommy Wetzel. You didn't hear a lot about Tommy Wetzel but I think he is going to step up and be a big player for us. Also his brother Tanner. They are twins. Tanner is going to be at the Outside. Tommy is going to be on the inside. We will also have Reed (Sprinkle) jumping from Defensive Tackle. He is going to play inside Linebacker."
Alema Stone: "I think they have a lot of potential. They are really athletic. They just need a little help and a little guidance and we will be almost as good as we were last year."
The Bombers have high hopes for their offense as well, even after graduating a pair of 1000 yard rushers. The rebuild of the run game starts with quality protection up front; that group again headlined by Alema Stone.
Kelly Sears: "Alema doesn't say a whole lot but he does everything with his actions. He plays hard and the kids really gather around him. He is going to be a great Defensive End for us. He is going to be a great tackle for us. He has really molded into a good football player for us."
Duerr: I haven't heard you express any concerns about your backfield. Your coming back with all new guys but again it's a pretty good group.
Kelly Sears: "Well...the one thing you have to look at is how many yards did Jarrod Rockhold have as a Junior? Not many. He was a pretty good Defensive Back, but not many yards. You know, the thing about it is Blake Driskell is back there. Hunter Mynatt, Reed Sprinkle. DJ Williams. Lucas Vannattan. We have kids who don't have a lot of carries but you know what? I think they are going to step up and do the job for us."
The even neater dynamic at play in Macomb is the growth under center of Jacob Poore, who got thrown to the wolves as a Day One Freshman starter last year but who has come back as a battle toughened weapon at Quarterback.
Jacob Poore: "Grew up loving football and I was always a big Nebraska fan and usually they don't have very good quarterbacks there. And I always thought maybe one day I would have a chance to go there. That's my dream playing college football. I get to pass the ball, run the ball and have great enthusiasm about it."
Duerr: You had a catbird seat to watch Jacob grow up at quarterback. He is a different kid this year, is he not?
Alema Stone: "Yeah, I am proud of him. He's grown up a lot. He's a really good leader. He's grown into shoes that weren't there last year. So really excited to see what he can do next year."
Kelly Sears: "He takes on challenges. He studies the game. He knows what's going on. The luxury that athletes have today is HUDL (Internet Video Service) Everybody in the state has HUDL. And I can look at the time that he watches tape on HUDL so it is about up there with me. He studies the game. He loves the game. He is a quarterback and I would say he is probably up there with some of the quarterbacks that I have had because he loves being in charge."