Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 19, 2006

Tomberlin pleased with game

New Valdosta High head football coach evaluates starters, backups

VALDOSTA — Valdosta High’s spring football season came to a close with the annual spring game Friday night at Cleveland Field.

An estimated 1,500 fans came to Cleveland Field to watch the Wildcats compete in what was actually more of a practice session than a game.

“I appreciate the way the fans came out and supported us,” first-year Valdosta head coach Rick Tomberlin said. “There were a lot of people here tonight, and they cheered when we made a big play, and then they applauded us after the scrimmage. That was great.”

Those fans saw a Valdosta team still learning a new system of offense and defense under a new coaching staff. But they also saw some big plays on both sides of the ball.

“To be honest with you, it would be hard to be more pleased,” Tomberlin said. “If we went up and down the field and scored eight times, I’d be worried about our defense. If we could hardly get a first down, I’d be worried about our offense. But I thought the first teams each played well. They knew the plays, and we didn’t have a lot of misalignments. We played a lot of guys. I was very pleased.”

Tomberlin said there is still a lot to work on. But he was also happy with plenty of things Friday.

“I liked the intensity. Everybody hustled, they hit, their attitudes were good. They’re working hard, and they’re improving,” Tomberlin said. “We’re not anywhere near ready to play a football game, but that’s OK. The players just need some more reps, and they’ll be fine.

“We got done what we wanted to get done. We wanted to get out there under the lights, in front of a big crowd, on the turf. We wanted to find out where we stood, who our players are. We got the film to evaluate them. We saw our No. 1’s and our backups play.”

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