BY DARREN REESE
SUN SPORTS EDITOR
GREENEVILLE - Last year was considered a rebuilding year on Rebel Hill as South Greene had just four seniors on the roster and suffered through a 1-9 season with a unit made up of mostly underclassmen.
Head coach Shawn Jones hopes to see those growing pains pay dividends in 2013. The veteran leader got his first look at the Rebels in a scrimmage atmosphere Friday as they welcomed Happy Valley.
South Greene started slow in the controlled workout, but scored a couple of touchdowns late to finish on the short end of a 4-2 touchdown total against the higher-classification (3A) Warriors.
"We started off real sluggish," Jones said. "You know, we are coming off a 1-9 season, so maybe it's hard for us to get a little confidence when we play these other schools. We think we can't play."
"I think once we saw that we could play, we picked up the intensity and got after it."
Happy Valley is coming off a 3-7 season after making the playoffs the two years prior to 2012.
The Warriors needed just five plays to score Friday night, with the touchdown coming on a 55-yard run.
The first part of the scrimmage saw the two offenses alternate 10-play possessions. Happy Valley scored two more times once the second and third team units started shuffling in.
Later on, the chains were brought in and the teams went through down-and-distance action.
That saw South Greene score its first touchdown, coming on a long pass from Hunter Waddell to Tim Lightfoot.
The Rebels' second score came courtesy of their defense on the ensuing Happy Valley possession. Manny Alcantara popped a ball loose on a Happy Valley run, and Lucas Riddle grabbed it in mid air and darted 60 yards to the end zone.
"We did better late," Jones said. "There is definitely a lot of stuff we can work on."
The Rebels won't have much time to evaluate their scrimmage performance, though.
They have another scrimmage scheduled for Monday.
South Greene lost only two players from last year's starting unit, so this fall has been more of refining than teaching, Jones said.
"We've not changed anything from last year, so right now we are just trying to get better," he concluded. "That's what it's all about right now - trying to get better."
CHUCKEY-DOAK TAKES PART IN FOUR-WAY SCRIMMAGE
Chuckey-Doak traveled north Friday for Ben Murphy's first scrimmage back at the helm of the program.
The Black Knights were at Sullivan East High School for a four-way workout with the Patriots, Cloudland and Tri-Cities Christian.
"We seemed to have a lot of energy," Murphy said. "We did some things good, but there are a lot of things we need to work on."
Murphy was pleased with how his defense ran to the football, but added that he would like to see a better job of tackling.
Chuckey-Doak has eight seniors who will see starting time on that side of the ball.
The Black Knights must replace All-State running back Bryce Malone this season. Murphy said the new-look rushing attack showed signs of being capable Friday night.
Chuckey-Doak has another scrimmage scheduled for Tuesday night at Sullivan North.
"The coaches will get together on Sunday and watch film," Murphy noted. "I would like to see us work on our technique a little bit more on offense, and defensively, we just need to do a better job with alignment."
WEST GREENE AT DANIEL BOONE
West Greene traveled to Daniel Boone Friday night for a three-way scrimmage with the Trailblazers and Cocke County.
Head coach Joe Case said the biggest positive he saw was the continued improvement from several players.
"I thought we did pretty good," Case said. "We saw some young guys get better. I think we have a lot of ability. We just have to keep getting better."
The Buffaloes will be at home for a scrimmage next Friday.
"We are going to go back and watch film and just keep on working on fundamentals next week," Case said.