Reinhardt scrimmage presents opportunities to win jobs
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
April 07, 2013 12:15 AM | 1955 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
04-06-13  --REINHARDT FOOTBALL 02--  Reinhardt University tailback Deonte Dennis takes the handoff from quarterback Dylan Haynes under the watchful eye of offensive coordinator Drew Cronic during a scrimmage Saturday. STAFF/KELLY J. HUFF
04-06-13 --REINHARDT FOOTBALL 02-- Reinhardt University tailback Deonte Dennis takes the handoff from quarterback Dylan Haynes under the watchful eye of offensive coordinator Drew Cronic during a scrimmage Saturday. STAFF/KELLY J. HUFF
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WALESKA — There was a crowd in the stands and players on the football field at Reinhardt for the first time Saturday as the team held the first of two open scrimmages this spring.

The Eagles showcased two quarterbacks, Johnathon Chamblee, a product of Savannah Christian, and Ryan Thompson from Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The freshmen pair took turns working with the first team.

Both consider themselves strong at running the ball, but say their passing has come along under the Reinhardt coaching staff.

Of the eight quarterbacks that arrived on campus, coach Danny Cronic said Chamblee and Thompson are two of the three in the hunt for the starting position.

Thompson said it is humbling to be considered for the positions.

“It’s a humbling feeling knowing that there are three of us and we started off with eight,” he said. “That’s good for us.”

As part of the first team at Reinhardt they are working hard to prove themselves on the field.

“It’s been a great experience to start the first team at Reinhardt and get to know all these players,” said Chamblee. “It’s been a really great experience to become a team.”

Cronic said the pair performed well and that the team as a whole did better than expected. For the first time the players had an official on the field calling penalties — and that didn’t happen as often as Cronic was afraid it would.

“The offense stayed on the field a lot longer and there weren’t many set backs,” he said.

While there was not a large contingent of Reinhardt students at the game, there were plenty of fans. Many of the players traveled in for the game and several had friends from high school cheering them on.

“We need to get some more local people involved,” said Cronic. “But I thought it was pretty exciting.”

The Eagles were able to showcase plenty of young talent.

Tyler Martin, Fredrick Walker and Damarcus Hamilton stood out on defense.

On offense, Deion Shelton, Nick Johnson, Deonte Dennis and Ian McIntosh carried the ball well. Receivers Kyle LaStrange, Elliot Clark and Tyler Bradly also made their presence known.

Blayton Bethune, the team’s only punter, took several snaps and aside from only one bobbled ball looked impressive.

Bethune, whose father passed away last week, stayed on campus after the team accompanied him to the funeral to work out with the team in preparation for the scrimmage according to Cronic.

“What is going to be the deal is can we grow up fast enough to match up with those folks who have been playing four years,” said Cronic.

The next open scrimmage will be next Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. Athlete director Bill Popp said that scrimmage will be a dry run for game day. There will be concessions available and a tent for those wishing to purchase season tickets. Also on campus will be a baseball game in the afternoon. Popp encourages families to come out to the campus and make a day of it. There is no admission charge for the football scrimmage.
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