SPORTS HEADLINES

Trio battles for Boyd linebacker spot

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, August 9, 2014

Last year, senior Garrett Ragsdale ran the Boyd defense, making 97 tackles from his middle linebacker spot.

Upon graduating, Ragsdale took three years of experience with him, leaving a leadership void in the heart of the Yellowjacket defense.

Battle in the Trenches

BATTLE IN THE TRENCHES – Boyd’s Hayden Brown stays on his block during the Yellowjackets’ practice Friday. Boyd and other Wise County teams were able to hold full-contact practices for the first time Friday. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

“Ragsdale was a two-and-a-half year starter,” said coach Brandon Hopkins. “That’s a big spot we’re looking to fill. That’s the captain of the defense. We’re going to find someone of to get the job done. We’ve got three good candidates.”

The trio of Yellowjackets looking to fill the spot are juniors Adam Harkness and Colton Meadows and senior Colton Batterton.

Batterton is the lone one of the three who played on the varsity last season – but he is moving from defensive end to linebacker.

“It’s a pretty intense position,” he said. “There’s a lot more stuff you have to read.”

Harkness played on the Yellowjackets’ junior varsity last year. He recognizes the responsibility of the role.

“The team leans on you a lot. You’ve got to step up and be a leader,” Harkness said.

Meadows is a transfer from Paradise, where he played outside linebacker. He was out of practice Friday on the first day of contact drills.

Batterton and Harkness say they both want the job and don’t mind the competition in practice.

“We’ve been friends. We’re going to get after it and there won’t be any hard feelings,” Batterton said.

They know that whoever wins the job will have big shoes to fill, taking over for Ragsdale.

“He was a good leader. We need to be the same,” Harkness said.

The Yellowjackets will get to see the linebackers in action against an opponent Friday at home against Howe.

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