Minutemen take an early bye

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By Mike Forster

Liberty was given no great deal this year, getting its bye on the second week of the season.

While the bye is ALWAYS welcome, it's usually best suited for when the coaching staff has had a decent look at the team. A couple of games’ worth of film in the can provides ample opportunity to understand weaknesses and what needs to be shored up on the squad.

In Liberty's case, however, the timing of the bye might not be terrible. There are still a number of question marks. Even with its dominance of Western Albemarle, there are still a number of areas where some time for refinement is most welcome.

Goal number one, according to Head Coach Chris Watts, is to get everybody healthy and back to 100%. Remember, even though the team has had only one game, it did go through a grueling practice ramp-up, as well as two physical scrimmage dates.

The extra week, therefore, should go a long way toward getting the walking wounded back to full speed.

The game with Western produced a couple of red flags. The biggest red flag may well have been the number of yellow flags the Minutemen garnered. In addition to numerous illegal procedure penalties, the Minutemen got pegged with a couple of unsportsmanlike calls (although, in fairness, at least one of those calls was not deserved).

Watts also wants to see the offensive line's pass blocking shored up. "We can't chuck and duck," he said. "We need time to make the reads and to throw.

"(Western) put up way too big a pass rush against us."

The old saying is that you can't coach size. The next two weeks, therefore, will be best spent refining technique and instilling discipline in the blocking assignments.

It is doubtful that the quarterback situation will become any more clear over the break. All three signal callers—Tyler Bowyer, Anthony Reynolds and Kordero Thompson—remain viable options. Each has had some shining moments while each has had some not-so-shining moments. At this point, however, it seems that the situation is more of a "We have three good options," rather than a "Yikes! Who are we going to throw out there?"

You can be sure that Liberty personnel will be generously spread throughout the area come Friday night. The Magna Vista-Heritage contest gives the Minutemen a chance to scout two upcoming opponents. Don't be surprised to see a Liberty jacket, or two, up at Brookville, when the Bees play Tunstall.

Other options include taking a long hike to see Giles play Blacksburg. Martinsville, Liberty's other non-District foe (Sept. 19) plays on Saturday, hosting Gretna.