CPHS ready for Celeste Blue Devils
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 8, 2006 - COMO - The Como-Pickton Eagles hope to go into their bye week next week with a little momentum.

Following a disappointing home and season opener last week against the Rivercrest Rebels, CPHS heads to Celeste today for a battle of two winless teams. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Head coach Joe Ryzman said personnel problems were key in the Eagles' loss to Rivercrest last Friday, and they have worked on that this week.

"The first thing that we did was re-evaluate our personnel on the film and we also looked at the mistakes we had made," the coach said. "We worked this week to correct those mistakes and we also made a few personnel changes to strengthen us up in some different areas."

With an inexperienced team this season, the Eagles are hoping the sophomores and juniors adjust to the varsity game quickly in order to pick up their first win of the season this week.

"I would say that it wouldn't be nerves but the inexperience of the players that we have and that hurt us. We have a very, very young team and the majority of our starters are sophomores and juniors," Ryzman said. "A lot of those sophomores are inexperienced sophomores in the game of football and that is what we have to overcome."

With only 85 yards of offense in last week's game,  the Eagles weren't communicating well and working together as a team, Ryzman said.

"A lot of it is an offense that you have that struggles like that and it is not just one person but 11 people on that field at one time," he said. "Those 11 people have to work together as one to achieve execution. There were a lot of things offensively that we needed to look at this week to correct in order to get better."

This week, the Eagles face a Celeste team that lost to Honey Grove 42-6 in their season opener and Ryzman said Honey Grove was a tough team on film.

"The first thing that I noticed on the film that we have of them during Week Zero against a very good opponent in Honey Grove is they got beat by probably one of the better 2A programs in this area," he said.

Casey Barbee, back under center after throwing for 1,414 yards last season and 13 touchdowns, and the Blue Devil's starting running back will be players to watch, Ryzman said.

"Celeste is a team which executes very well and they are sound offensively and defensively. I think the players that we need to stop on the defensive side of the ball are their quarterback and their running back," he said.

"They work as 11 players on the field and they work very well together and everyone knows their assignment. They are sound on both sides of the ball and they execute very well."

Since Celeste lost middle linebacker David Lakeman to graduation last year, Ryzman hopes the Eagles can have success offensively as Alex Mowat, Alex Williams and James Carter look to have big games in the backfield.

"Defensively, I think they (Celeste) are down from last year with the loss of the good middle linebacker that they had," Ryzman said. "I think you will see a lot of young players that have a little more experience on our team. Some of the players will go into the game and execute a little better than they did last week."

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