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High expectations for Clippers


SUMMERSIDE – Head coach Marc Reid and the Summerside Cooke Insurance Clippers’ coaching staff are in an unusual position this season.

Cameron Gillis of the Summerside Cooke Insurance Clippers catches a pass during a practice drill at Eric Johnston Field on Tuesday evening.

After struggling with numbers for a few years, which included some individuals having to play both sides of the ball, the Clippers have over 30 players on the 2014 team roster, and there are high expectations for the team that has lost to the Souris Wildcats in the last two Potato Bowls.

“The tables have turned you could say compared to the past couple of years because we always had that problem,” said Reid.

A big reason for the increase in numbers with the Clippers is an influx of players from the John Turner-led Summerside Waterwise Spartans’ bantam program.

“It’s great to see, and we have John (Turner) and the bantams to thank,” said Reid.

Home opener

A number of the Clippers will play their first home game in the Papa John’s P.E.I. Varsity Tackle Football League on Friday night. The Cornwall Timberwolves will visit Eric Johnston Field for a rematch of the season opener, which the Clippers won 28-6 in Cornwall two weeks ago.

While Reid admitted the Timberwolves were short-staffed in that game, he expects a stiff test Friday.

“Regardless, they are going to come out and give us a game and try to beat us,” emphasized Reid.

Overall, Reid was pleased with his team’s play and consistency against Cornwall.

We didn’t put a whole lot in our playbook, but what we did put in the kids did well,” said Reid, who added the Clippers will have an extended playbook this week. “They have more of a grasp going into this game than two weeks ago. They caught on real well to the schemes we are trying to show them.”

Reduce penalties

Going forward, Reid would like to see the Clippers take fewer penalties. However, he acknowledged more familiarity with each other will be a big help in that area.

“We have a couple of new faces on our offensive line, and that was part of what I expected to happen,” added the head coach.

Reid also said he is looking for the defence to play more aggressive, but he is confident that will come in time.

Doubleheader

The opening kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. The Clippers’ game follows the home opener of the Spartans, which will get underway at 6 p.m.

The Spartans and Clippers will play home doubleheaders on Friday nights this season, and Reid is hoping that helps increase interest.

“I’m hoping to have some half-decent crowds out to support us,” he said. “Having them back to back, the high and junior high school students and parents can come out and support our teams.”

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

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