What to watch: Wide receiver and tight end battles heat up
Published 4:03 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2016
With Tyler Storey gone, Zyon McGee has quickly emerged as the number one receiver for the Bainbridge High Bearcats. The rising junior was the team’s second leading receiver last season with 31 catches for 387 yards and three touchdowns. He has spent the summer working to improve, and coaches feel he is ready to fill the big hole left behind by Storey’s graduation.
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“He’s really grown a lot as far as mentally,” wide receiver coach Mike Harvell said. “Understanding the game a little bit more. Understanding what he needs to do, and he’s an exceptional talent going into his junior year.”
The competition for the number two and three spots behind McGee is fierce though. Sophomore Aaron Spivey has emerged this summer as a surprise favorite to claim one of the starting wide receiver positions according to Harvell.
“Speed, quickness, his athletic ability,” Harvell said about what has impressed him about Spivey. “Plus the fact that he’s got a good imagination about himself. Knows how to get open. Things like that. We’re really looking for big things out of him.”
Other players competing for playing time are Tremayne Campbell, Lance Cosby and Caleb Boutwell.
“We’ve got some competition going,” Harvell said. “A couple of those guys gotta really step up and be significant for us outside.”
Another position where the summer battle has been fierce is tight end. Junior Will Kelley and sophomore Bowen Dodson are fighting for the starting position left vacant by the graduation of Russell Wheeler.
“Right now we’ve got more then we’re used to having as far as depth goes,” tight end coach Tom Wheeler said. “Bowen Dodson and Will Kelley, it’s going to be a battle to see which one.”
Both players offer the ability to come in as an extra blocker on running plays or to go out as a receiver when the offense uses play action. According to Wheeler, what separates Dodson is his ability to slide out as a wide receiver, which allows them to be more versatile on offense.
“I think its Bowen Dodson to be able to be that hybrid guy,” Wheeler said. “He’s going to be on the field somewhere, just because of his passion and his effort and his attitude. He’s really impressing me. He impressed me this morning. He gets me excited.”
Both Dodson and Kelley also double as linebackers.
This is the second article in the season preview series. Check back on Saturday for a breakdown of the linebacker position.