The Indians are one step closer to the official kickoff of 2015 and, after a tough scrimmage last week against cross county rivals, Trion Bulldogs, the Indians look west to Ft. Payne, Al for their next preseason test. The Fort Payne Wildcats are a spread offense that has experienced a lot of success in the previous years under Coach Paul Ellis, a former assistant at Valley Head under current Chattooga head coach, Charles Hammon. In fact, several close ties make this game quite the family affair. Ft. Payne Defensive Coordinator was actually the Best Man in Coach Hammon’s wedding and served on his staff while coaching in Dade County. On the field, Coach Hammon’s own cousin, Offensive Lineman Reid Hulgan, will be seeing a lot of playing time for the Wildcats.
Signing onto a two year deal for preseason games, the Indians will face off against the Wildcats Friday night, August 21st, hosted by the Indians at Buddy Windle Field. Kick off is at 7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Both teams are looking to make some assessment of position players and solidify their depth charts. The Indians will see a lot of playing time at quarterback from both Isaiah Foster and Cam Evans, with CJ Martin getting some reps in the 4th quarter. Coach Hammons looks to play most of his starters well into the 3rd quarter as the scrimmage rules move into each team rotating every 8 plays from offense to defense. This maximizes the number of plays that athletes can get, allowing coaches to make the best evaluations.
When asked what the Indians will be focusing on with their offense, Coach Hammon was very clear, “we want to run the football.”
As for the Chattooga defensive squad, Coach Hammon was just as clear that their job would be to slow down the fast-paced attack of the Wildcat’s Spread Offense. Operating off of wristband play calling and a hurry up, or no huddle, Fort Payne will look to wear down the Indians secondary early in the game.
With the Trion scrimmage game in the books, the Indian staff was been at work all week reviewing game tape and making adjustments. Coach Hammon was quick to congratulate Trion Head Coach, Justin Brown, and his offensive schemes that kept the Bulldogs in the hunt throughout the first half. The Bulldog empty backfield kept the Indians guessing and left the coaches questioning conditioning.
Coach Hammon clearly believes that the Indians’ biggest hurdles continue to be mental obstacles. Confidence in their preparation and abilities and the belief that Chattooga has reached the point where victory is not just possible, but expected, each and every game is a mind set that Hammon believes comes with time. But this mind set is turning the corner to building a successful program that lasts decade to decade, rather than game to game. The Fort Payne scrimmage will be a great game against a program that, Hammon believes, has turned that corner.
In a final wrap up from last week’s scrimmage, Coach Hammon was asked to name his MVP. Offensive Lineman, Michael “Big Mike” Adams was coach’s choice. With multiple pancake blocks and being the primary blocker, #52 Adams, opened up running lanes for the Indian backfield and will likely be leaned on all season to maintain that high level of performance.