Saints hope to stay healthy for 2005

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

Wouldn’t it be great if a football team could know in advance if players were going to get hurt?

Wouldn’t it be so helpful if the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy coaches had a scorebook or something that said, &uot;OK, Wilson’s due for a sprained knee in about two weeks, so we’d better get Carter ready in advance. Norris has got a hand injury scheduled for his 10th carry Saturday – get Olson warmed up. Oh, hey, we missed this – Dumbrowski’s supposed to break a toe in practice tomorrow!&uot;

Unfortunately for the Saints, such a tool doesn’t exist quite yet – if it had, they might have gone unbeaten in the TCIS for the third consecutive year last season. But Jeff Cooper’s broken leg, Jason Rock’s pulled hamstring, Adam Keeling’s bum ankle, Brock Van Selow’s busted collarbone, and a multitude of other bumps, bangs, breaks and bruises kept NSA from the top of the league.

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Well, as the season rolls back into season Sept. 2, when the Saints open their year at Windsor, most of the injuries have healed (not quite all, as will be shown in a moment). But youth and lack of numbers might be the new enemies on campus at NSA.

&uot;You take injuries as they come,&uot; said coach Terry Crigger. &uot;We lost 15 seniors to graduation last year. Right now, we have about 20 people out here, and four or five more are supposed to be coming.&uot;

Last year, Kelvin Demps led the junior varsity team to a perfect season; now, he’ll be searching for a way through varsity lines.

&uot;Hopefully I can,&uot; Demps said when asked if he could continue his success. &uot;It’s fun. I have instincts; I know what to do, and I know what’s going to happen if I mess up.&uot;

He’ll be sharing rushing duties with Kyle Jett and Taylor Van Selow.

&uot;Most of the people who got hurt (last year) were seniors,&uot; Jett said. &uot;Our younger guys got to step up, and now we have to step up some more. We have to beat Norfolk Academy last year.&uot;

The Saints will host Norfolk, the only TCIS team to beat them this millennium, at home Oct. 14.

With Andy Owens on the sidelines with tendonitis in his shoulder, Jack Wright will be throwing and handing off.

&uot;I’ve been a backup since 10th grade,&uot; Wright said. &uot;I’m ready.&uot;

So is defensive tackle Andy Bunch, in his final year at NSA.

&uot;I get to impact wisdom to the younger guys about how to play the game,&uot; Bunch said. &uot;There’s not much to it – just hit the guy in front of you.&uot;