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Sports

May 23, 2013

Quarterback battle to highlight Red-White game

GREENVILLE — Three quarterbacks competing for the starting job will show their skills tonight at the Greenville Lions’ Red-White spring football game.

The intrasquad contest starts at 6 p.m. at T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium. It caps off three weeks of spring training.

Matt Riskey, Spencer Gilbert and Trevon Heard will take their turns operating the offense at quarterback.

“We’ve got a little quarterback battle going on,” said Lions coach Marvin Sedberry.

Riskey is the only one of the three with previous varsity experience at the position. Riskey ran for 33 yards on 10 carries last season, plus was 6-of-24 passing for 71 yards and one touchdown.

Gilbert will line up with the Red team and Heard and Riskey will man the White squad.

Most of the No. 1 offense will play for the Red team, according to Sedberry, facing the No. 1 defense on the White team. The second offense will be on the White team facing the second defense with the Reds.

“JVs will be sprinkled in with those No. 2s,” said Sedberry.

The Lions will be suiting up about 76 players in what will resemble a real football game.

“We’re going to do everything,” said Sedberry. “The only thing we won’t do is allow blocks. We can’t block a kick. Everything else will be live.”

It’ll be the Lions’ 16th day of practice since starting spring ball on April 26.

“I’m kind of hoping the kids are looking forward to the game because we are,” Sedberry said of the Lions’ coaching staff.

The Lions, who are allowed 18 spring days, lost one to inclement weather on Tuesday.

“We could make it up but we won’t,” said Sedberry.

Sedberry said the spring practices have been “pretty good on the days when it wasn’t too hot.”

“We only had one bad Monday practice,” he said.

He said the Lions have been getting good leadership from some of the players who’ll be seniors in the fall. He praised the work of linemen Dillon Stevens, Hunter Smith, Mitchell Wheat and Chance Hamilton, plus returning tight end Cipriano Gonzales and running back Tyler Matthews. Matthews is the leading returning rusher for the Lions with 404 yards and one touchdown on 88 carries in 2012.

“All of the offensive kids have been doing pretty good,” Sedberry said.

Sedberry also praised defenders Natrone Hawkins, Tyrik Anderson, Jacob Mitchell and Datristion Fite.

The Lions will kick off the season on Aug. 30 at Princeton as they hope to break a string of three straight winless seasons.

 

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