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Chester High's offense was grounded on Monday, but in a good way.
The Cyclones had a controlled scrimmage as part of an evening full of events at the high school. The team still showed some wide-open spread looks, with Tommy Sanders doing a good job getting the ball in the hands of the team's athletic receivers, but there was an increased focus on running the ball, particularly out of the I formation.
"With the running backs and offensive line we have, we want to pound the ball a little more. We have the ability to do that," said coach Anthony Sterling.
A couple of different running backs had good showings in the scrimmage, including soon-to-be-senior Earl Hinton. Hinton lined up at tailback and in the slot, showing off good hands in the passing game and elusiveness in the open field. Hinton isn't the biggest player, but he showed off some tackle-breaking ability and power when lined up in the backfield. He ran for and caught touchdowns during the scrimmage.
"He's a slot, running back type of guy," Sterling said. "He can get out in space quickly. He learned a lot of leverage from wrestling, which has helped him a whole lot."
Defensively, Sterling said things were kept basic Monday. Basically, he wanted to see players aligned properly and linebackers getting to the ball fast and wrapping up.
Chester is coming off a 3-7 record in 2013, the program's first mark record since 2004. The team will feature a big swath of new starters, but most got some experience as back-ups or spot-starters last year. Sterling said his players seem intent on making sure the coming year will be a good one.
"This team has a different mindset and wants to do better this year. We've had about 50 in the weight training and agility program. Even our spring sport athletes have made time get here and participate. They understand you have to work hard and go get it," Sterling said.