Lincoln football team marches on despite drop in numbers
October 3, 2012
WARREN — Prior to the start of the season, first-year Warren Lincoln football coach Mike Bainbridge said avoiding injuries would be key because the Abes would be low on players.
That’s come into play and has affected the way Lincoln prepares for the opposition.
In August, the Abes had about 30 players on the roster, according to offensive coordinator Clint Derringer. That number has since dwindled to the 16 who were at practice Sept. 25.
At press time, Lincoln had a record of 2-3, 1-2 in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division.
“It’s hard, because we can’t even have a scout team to run the opposing team’s plays before a game,” junior linebacker Michael Reese said. “We just don’t have the numbers, but we’re still out here fighting every week.”
Senior offensive tackle Anthony Homesly said the team seems unprepared at the start of games because it’s difficult to simulate what the opposition will run in practice.
Abes coaches watch plenty of film, according to senior wide receiver Dayshawn Hampton, but the team still struggles at the start of some games.
“It’s like we come out, and we don’t know what to do,” Homesly said, “but we always adjust and make things tighter or pull the win out.”
Derringer said injuries and other issues have played a role in the shrinking roster. He admitted it’s tough at times practicing with so few players, but added it does have its advantages.
Despite the lack of depth in some spots, the Abes have performed admirably. Lincoln is allowing 24.4 points per game — its lowest total since winning the Bronze in 2008.
“You get guys who get a lot of reps at their position. You don’t have to worry about dividing the reps up,” said Derringer, who played for the Abes in 1999-2000. “It’s pretty cut and dry who’s going to get playing time at certain spots, and it gives those guys a chance to improve faster.”
Junior quarterback Darius Totty said the team has banded together. He said everyone on the roster knows their role and understands they can’t worry about the players who aren’t on the sideline.
“We’re still out here working as hard as everybody else,” Totty said. “That’s all we can do. We just have to stay focused and continue to work.”
Lincoln next hits the field for a matchup with Clawson, set for 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Lincoln.
The Abes’ Sept. 28 tussle with Madison Heights Lamphere took place after press time.