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Wolverines meet expectations, but lose Smith in preseason opener

Polk County head football coach Jamie Thompson saw everything he anticipated in Monday night’s Wolverine Jamboree. And one sight he didn’t hope to see.

Polk County head football coach Jamie Thompson saw everything he anticipated in Monday night’s Wolverine Jamboree.

And one sight he didn’t hope to see.

That would be the image of senior Jordan Smith, expected to fill key roles on both sides of the ball, leaving the first scrimmage session against Chase with a shoulder injury. Smith didn’t return for the later sessions with East Rutherford and North Henderson, spending most of the evening on the sidelines with ice taped to his shoulder.

Thompson called Smith “day to day.”

Beyond that, Thompson found reason for optimism in the two hours of action that the Wolverines had against the three opponents.

“The potential for this team is high, but we have a lot of guys who have never been in this situation before,” Thompson said. “We made some mistakes on both sides of the ball, but they competed hard.

“Jordan went down early, and you could see some of the players’ faces drop. But we pressed on. I thought we moved the ball well and we made some stops on defense. We just have to be more consistent at both.”

Junior quarterback Jamal Wheeler scored twice in the session against Chase, on short runs, and hit Jason Chupp with a touchdown pass. Chupp proved to be Wheeler’s favorite target on the night, making a handful of catches. Both Jamal and Storm Wheeler scored against East Rutherford. Neither Polk nor North Henderson scored in a short session that ended the evening’s play.

“We’ve got to work on our pass protection,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to play our techniques and do what we’re supposed to do.

“Our game management was pretty good, for players and coaches both. We’ve just got to work on the basics, blocking, tackling and playing our responsibilities on defense.”

Polk County will be back in action on Friday, facing Kings Mountain in the Cleveland County Jamboree at Gardner-Webb. Action there begins at 6 p.m.

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