LLOYD, Ky. — In his first year at the helm of the Greenup County football program, head coach Zach Moore’s challenges speak for themselves.
In the Musketeers’ graduating senior class a season ago was Eli Sammons, a freshman quarterback at Marshall and the northeast Kentucky all-time passing yards leader — as well as four of their five starting offensive linemen.
Moore is aided in the fact that Greenup County is not his first head coaching job, and that he was able to retain last year’s entire coaching staff — with the exception of former head coach Scott Grizzle.
Moore was the head coach of Kentucky Christian University in 2009 and 2010, before becoming East Carter football’s head coach from 2011 thru 2014.
“Coach Grizzle is the only member of our coaching staff who is no longer with us, we were able to retain all the assistant coaches,” Moore said. “That helped, the familiarity with our coaching staff. It also helps that I’ve been a head coach before. Once you’ve done it once, you know exactly what needs to be done. I can’t speak for everybody, but I’ve been trying to improve in areas that I wasn’t very good in in the first time.”
Prior to being hired in the offseason to lead the Musketeers, Moore spent two years as an assistant under Grizzle — learning and establishing comfort with his team from a different perspective.
“The players’ familiarity with me helped, they didn’t have to get to know a new head coach,” Moore said. “Already knew me, already knew nearly all of our assistants. It makes the transition a lot smoother.”
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association voted in late July to postpone the beginning of fall sports practices in the Bluegrass State until Aug. 24.
During their offseason regiment and in workouts leading up to the season, Moore said he and his staff’s focus has been on getting his players not just trained, but training their bodies to fit their sport.
“We’ve re-structured our training so that we’re training to play football,” Moore said. “We’re not weight lifting, we don’t want to be power lifters. We’re training our bodies to play football.”
Austin Clarkson and Brayden Craycraft are two senior wide receivers who will see an substantial role increase for the Musketeers heading into the 2020 season, Moore said.
“They’re going to have to produce, and produce a little bit more consistently,” Moore said. “In the past we’ve had guys like Patrick Kelly and Austin Evans that have handled the biggest production out wide, so they just have to emerge as major producers for us.”
Senior running back Quintan Farrow returns to the Musketeers for his final year — after suffering a season-ending knee injury during the first week of the 2019 season.
“While he is going to be very capable, until you get a guy out there with live contact, you never really know how it’s going to respond,” Moore said. “That’s a little bit of an unknown.”
Another unknown is who exactly will get the starting nod from Moore to lead the Musketeers from the quarterback position after the loss of Sammons.
“We’re working a few guys there right now,” Moore said.
Senior lineman Reid Parker is the Musketeers’ lone returning offensive lineman from last season, meaning that the guys in the trenches will be more than a focus when practice officially began on Aug. 24.
“The focus of our offense is going to be our offensive line,” Moore said. “If those guys can’t block it, we’re not going to be able to do it.”
Greenup will begin its eight-game season on Sept. 11 with a road trip to face district rival Ashland, which it will see again later in the season.
“If we can get through this schedule and we’re winning games and everything we want to do, that’s going to put us in great position to make a little noise in the postseason,” Moore said.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved