As the second week of preseason practice began for the Mainland High football team, the Bucs' offense started taking shape. They have their starting quarterback. They also have settled on a running back by committee.
Spruce Creek transfer Damarcus Creecy will start at quarterback as junior Ezaiah Shine is no longer a student at the school, coach Travis Roland said.
Running back was a position that Roland had been nervous about. Heading into the offseason he wasn't sure who was going to replace starter Isaiah Gordon, who led the team in rushing and scored 18 touchdowns last season. Gordon is now with Marshall University.
Instead of finding Gordon's replacement, the Bucs have found four players who will share the position.
“We have two running backs coming back from injury, one who played at Father Lopez last year and one from Chicago. It's the first time in many years that we've had a running back by committee,” Roland said.
The Bucs have big backs in Micah McGuire, Adam Canfield and Myron Shafer and fast backs in Corey Hill and Princeton Russell. They all will get their chance.
“They are four guys who are more than capable of doing the job,” Roland said.
Russell and Shafer are coming back from injury. Russell, a senior, broke his kneecap in the spring and was cleared to practice on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Shafer, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound sophomore, missed his freshman season with a torn ACL.
Hill transferred from Father Lopez, while McGuire transferred from Danville, Illinois. Canfield, a senior, has been with the Bucs for three years.
“He's been chomping at the bit to get his chance,” Roland said.
“They are four guys who are more than capable of doing the job.”
— TRAVIS ROLAND
Having four running backs gives the Bucs multiple options, Roland said.
“We weren't sure about running back depth. Now we have it,” he said. “Coach Chip Smith has been doing a great job developing running backs here.”
The second week of practice was more typical for the Bucs after a college-like atmosphere during the first week.
“We had the kids here 8 to 2,” Roland said. “We practiced, lifted weights and then did special teams. The kids got to eat together. Teachers were not on campus yet, so we were able to come out and get after it. We had no responsibilities as teachers in the classroom.”