Blue Devils get first crack at 2020


GREEN COVE SPRINGS - Clay High School football got a quick glimpse of the 2020 version of Blue Devil football with Saturday morning's intrasquad scrimmage and the glimpse was a little bit of fast moving pieces.

"Our hype level went from a two to a 100 real quick once we knew we were going to be able to play," said Clay offensive tackle Jordan McGill. "We made some mistakes, but we can tweak that stuff."

For new coach Kyle Kennard, the game showed off some excitement and some needs to work on.

"We put the ball on the ground too many times and that will need to improve," said Kennard, in his first team scrimmage as the newest Blue Devil head football coach. "We saw some good things; first time in pads and they were excited. We got what we expected from Q (Al'Querious Ray). He's a big time running back."

Kennard liked running back Al'Querious Ray who scored three times; one a 60 yarder with Demaurion Frazier scoring twice as well. Kennard also saw a 90 yard kickoff return from sophomore Jarvis Lee.

For the Blue Devils, who want to overturn a disastrous 1-9 non-Blue Devil-like finish last year under departed coach John Stilianou, the shot to get on the field amidst the drama of the COVID-19 Pandemic was worth the wait.

"We want to get to game one, September 11," said senior quarterback Tre Griner. "What I saw we are at a seven out of 10 for readiness to take on UC (University Christian in game one, September 11). We still got some stuff to tighten up, but we've only had pads for a week and just two weeks of practice."

On the offensive line, where Clay has historically held opponents at bay with power and might, Gabe Hubbard, a hefty athlete, is at center with bookends Jordan McGill and Desiron Gantt; two returners, providing the up front movement to set Ray free.

"Our smallest guy; Bradley Warren, is probably the meanest on the O-Line," said McGill. "I'm working hard to get us where we need to be to get Q downfield. Our running backs don't need much room."

On the defense, the front line is led by senior Valdez Seymour, who anchored a three-man attack front with Martez Martin and sophomore Blake Thompson with linebacker Jamal Pierre hovering from behind.

"We got hats on the ball like Clay football does," said Seymour. "We'll be ready."

Reed Waugh and Jayden Bryant were effective on passes with Bryant making a nice backward somersault touchdown grab late in the scrimmage to cap a long Ray rumble down the field.


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