So far in two games, Poca coach Bob Lemley has learned a good deal about his team. Mostly, he wishes there was more team to go around.
The Dots find themselves stuck at 1-1 heading into Friday's key early-season meeting with Putnam County rival Buffalo (1-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at O.O. White Stadium in Poca.
If the Dots are going to make a run at a Class AA playoff berth - and they think they can - they'll have to do it leaning on the development of some versatile players.
"The thing we knew that was going to happen,'' Lemley said, "is that we're not deep. We don't have a lot of players on the team. We've got some good players, and it's a matter of getting them in shape so they can play four quarters.
"I think that hit us a little bit Friday night [in a 27-7 loss at Nicholas County]. It was tied 7-7 at halftime and the fourth quarter didn't go like we wanted it. My team is working hard and practicing hard. It's just a matter of coaching them up, and they have to learn to play two, three positions.''
One of the bright spots for the Dots has been the play of junior quarterback Jake Payne, a returning starter. Payne has accounted for nearly 600 yards of total offense through two games, carrying 34 times for 171 yards and three touchdowns and completing 28 of 51 passes for 414 yards.
"That's been a real positive,'' Lemley said. "I think we've got a backfield that's pretty much set. Jake gives us a pretty solid foundation because he was our quarterback last year. He knows what we do.
"I like the way Thomas Loudin's been running the ball, and Levi Clendenin's got a little speed. A good little athlete. Hayden Bailey can play fullback or end - a different position, kind of like a hybrid. We don't have a lot of depth there, but we've got some decent kids.''