By DAVID GREEN
The Jonesville football roster lists only 20 players for 2010, but even that looks like a luxury to Morenci coach Tom Saylor.
The Bulldogs had only 14 players when they faced three teams in scrimmage action last week, and that included a couple boys who will be ineligible for the season opener this week.
“If everybody comes back who should, I would have 16 players Friday,” Saylor said.
That includes two sophomores moved up from the junior varsity.
Saylor said a squad this small is something he’s never experienced in his long coaching career, but he’ll take what he’s got and get ready for a visit from the Comets Friday night.
The 7 p.m. game might be the first time the two teams have ever met—at least in 60 years. Records going back to 1950 show no match-ups between the two schools.
“Jonesville looks pretty good,” Saylor said, noting a very highly regarded senior tackle (6-4, 300 pounds). “They’re disciplined and they get off the ball well.”
Saylor figures into an ironic twist to the contest. The Jonesville coach, Josh Lindeman, was coached by the Luma brothers at Hudson who were in turn coached by Saylor.
Morenci has two starters out with injuries and two others sitting out from academic problems last spring. Mitch Schmucker, a would-be two-way starter, is out for the season from an automobile injury suffered several weeks ago.
Still, Saylor says he had a solid core of talented players along with some inexperienced ones that he’ll have to work into the lineup.
Quarterback Brett Bovee is back to call signals and sophomore Hayze Wolf will serve as a backup.
Senior lineman Nick Wilson will be moved to a tight end position, but there will still be plenty of size in the interior of the line. In fact, three players alone tally about 1,100 pounds, with Peter Bach in the middle.
With so many key players missing from the Bulldog lineup, Jonesville could be hard to beat, Coach Saylor, but it’s not an impossible task.
• Morenci’s junior varsity team kicks off the football season at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with a trip to Jonesville.