Preview: Memphis Whitehaven

Coach Rodney Saulsberry recently sat down to talk about his 2008 Whitehaven Tigers team. Find out what Coach Saulsberry thinks of the 2008 season and who he expects to step up this season.

Offense: Multiple – I formation, Spread, Option Defense: Multiple 30 – 40, Attacking Gap Control Defense Region: 8 Classification: 5A

PrepTennessee.com Publisher: How was spring practice?

Coach Rodney Saulsberry: "Spring practice went great. We actually go to spring practice early. We got out in late February into early March and had some pleasant surprises. There are actually quite a few schools on this side of the state that go to spring practice early. We had a scrimmage with Central high school here in Memphis and we also did an inter squad scrimmage we call our black and gold game. We set it up like a college spring game, so we were able to have two good scrimmages early."

PrepTennessee.com Publisher: Who are some of the players you are depending on this season?

Coach Rodney Saulsberry: "We had a few that were some mainstays with Gene Robinson and Derrick Webb. They've been vital parts of our team and vital cogs for a while, so they held down the fort. Some guys we saw turn the corner on, Patrick Christian, who really turned the corner and had a great last year; he really did some good things in the spring. Emmanuel Clemmons is a kid, who will always have promise and talent, but we got a chance to really see that at linebacker this year and he's looking real good."

PrepTennessee.com Publisher: Who are some of the players you expect to step up this season?

Coach Rodney Saulsberry: "Our former quarterback Jeremy Pryor, we are going to move him out to wide receiver. He just shows some dynamic skills at wide receiver. He seems like he's been there the whole time. We're really excited about the promise he has because we lost four of our top five receivers. Jeremy Pryor along with Jeremy Jones coming back and we're really excited about those pair."

PrepTennessee.com Publisher: What do you feel is your team's strength?

Coach Rodney Saulsberry: "Right now I think our strength is on the defensive side of the ball especially up front. We have a lot of guys that played last year returning like Gene Robinson, Derrick Webb, Emmanuel Clemmons, and Patrick Christian. The defensive side of the ball is looking very exciting.We have several linemen who are returning up front on both sides. We only lost three linemen, so I would say our line play and our defense is our strength."

PrepTennessee.com Publisher: What do you look to improve this season?

Coach Rodney Saulsberry: "Just execution, assignment discipline and just every play executing. We are looking forward to put an emphasis of execution on every play and finishing every play. We've got some young guys that are going to have to step up. Frederick Flenorl, at quarterback, is going to have to step up and do some things. I'm really excited about him. He will be a first year starter, but you always have inexperience that's a factor. We have two new tailbacks this season. One Cortez Mosby, a transfer from Ridgeway High School, and he's going to help us a lot in the backfield and we have depth with Tony Jefferson. I would say he is going to be one of the best running backs in West Tennessee."

PrepTennessee.com Publisher: What are the biggest challenges for your team?

Coach Rodney Saulsberry:"Our schedule is full of landmines. Our schedule is pretty tough. We play Mitchell first who went to the state semifinals last year. Then we play Fairley, who is a natural rival for us. Then in our league schedule I think we play the SEC of Tennessee. With Houston High School, Germantown High School, Collierville High School, and White Station our league is extremely tough. There are teams with winning records that don't make the playoffs in our league; it has been that way for the past four or five years."

PrepTennessee.com Publisher: How important are your fans?

Coach Rodney Saulsberry:"Our fan base is tremendous. We have game, like our game with Fairley or our game with Melrose that if I weren't a coach I wouldn't be able to get in the game."


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