The Yellow Jackets have been hard at work on the football field and coach Steve Taneyhill is ready to showcase his team in an open practice tonight at 7 p.m.
“It will be a scrimmage-type practice under the lights,” said Taneyhill. “We want to give the community a chance to come out and see what we’ve been working on.”
Taneyhill has begun to implement his offense over the past couple of weeks.
“Our offense will dictate the flow of the game,” he has often said.
The Jackets will run a shotgun spread, however, Taneyhill said that his team won’t line up in a traditional punt format on fourth down.
“We hope to not be punting much at all,” he laughed. “I don’t like to punt. But when we do, our quarterback will do it. If he can be a quarterback, he can be a punter.”
Taneyhill brought Coach Ryan Young with him from Chesterfield and Young is working with the offensive line along with Coach Kevin Lancaster.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jackets will present a three man front.
“The 3-5 defense best suits us,” said Taneyhill. “We’re playing with a lot of things right now, but I like the three front and what comes behind it.”
Union County has added former Greenville High defensive coordinator Troy Bowe to the coaching staff to work with defensive backs.
Taneyhill said that the coaches and athletes are excited about the direction the program is headed and about just being on the football field.
“You can feel the excitement at practice,” he said. “And our schedule never changes. We want to get in a rhythm. The pace is fast, just like it’s going to be in a game.”
While tonight’s match-up will feature Jackets on Jackets, Union County will have the opportunity to test their skills against other high schools soon enough with the first scrimmage scheduled for June 5 at Greenwood High.
Taneyhill has also lined up a trip to his hometown in Altoona, Pennsylvania for a seven on seven tournament in the last week of June. His father, Art, who was an athletic director and basketball coach in Altoona, has collected donations from the community to fund most of the trip and the Union County High School Booster Club is also soliciting funds.
“This will be a bonding experience for the team and a reward for doing things right throughout the month of June,” said Taneyhill. “We’re going to take them by the university and let them walk around on the empty stadium. It gives a lot of them a chance to see something they haven’t seen before.”
While the experience will be one that should bring the team closer, going out of state has it’s benefits onfield as well.
“We’ll get to see some teams that we normally wouldn’t,” said Taneyhill. It will be fun, but we’re also going up there to play ball, and every time we put on those helmets we’re gonna play to win.”
*Taneyhill and the Booster Club will be at Bo’Jangles Saturday at 9 a.m. accepting contributions for the trip to Pennsylvania. Donations can also be left with Roger Wade at Arthur State Bank.*