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Bush, Airedales feel like they’re trending upward 6/14/22

Bush, Airedales feel like they’re trending upward

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


In an ordinary world, Joe Trusty would have taken a snap and weaved his way toward the goal line for a touchdown. 


“Touchdown Airedales!”


But 7-on-7 isn’t about short-yardage goal-line offenses. 


Alma got to Greenwood’s one-foot line twice last week but failed to score during the team’s 7-on-7 battle with the battle-tested Bulldogs.


“That’s what we’re lacking right now … just a little bit of execution,” Bush said. “But promise you, from a week and a half ago to today, we are executing much better offensively.”


Alma travels to Russellville Wednesday for team camp, and then back to Russellville Friday for another elite 7-on-7 tournament. 


The Airedales graduated top receivers, Conner Stacy and BriLee White. And they may be without senior Derek Hatcher for the foreseeable future. 


Junior Drake Stogsdill may be one answer. There are others, too, such as bruising Jackson Dailey, Ian Rhoads, Matthew Schlegel, and junior Demetrius Parish. 


“I like the way Drake Stogsdill looked; I don’t know how many catches he had,” Bush said. “Jackson Daily, Ian Rhoads (and) Demetrius Parish … these guys are making some plays. Matthew Schlegel, we actually had to put him in another position with Hatcher being out right now. I’m awfully proud of the work these guys have put in the first two weeks of summer.


“We are a much better football team than we were last year.”


“I feel like we got a lot of experience from it,” Stogsdill said of the team’s 7-on-7 tournament. “I feel like a lot of chemistry has been built between quarterbacks and receivers and running backs.”


Stogsdill mostly returned kicks in 2021. He had zero receptions. 


But just because the Airedales don’t have much experience back doesn’t mean Trusty won’t have some potentially good targets to throw to... 


Schlegel and running back Brady Noyes both had 10 receptions last season. Shawn Rankins, another player who figures to be in the mix, had six catches, including a touchdown. 


“I feel like we’re going to have a pretty good season,” Stogsdill said. “We have some really good sure-handed receivers. We’ve had some guys step up.


“We have some guys that are going to rotate in and out.