ROCKINGHAM — The football sailed through the air and dropped softly into the hands of the Chesterfield receiver.
In fact, several passes like that found their targets against Richmond Senior’s defense Tuesday night.
It wasn’t an ideal way to start the team’s first 7-on-7 of the summer, but for new defensive coordinator Mark Arthur it’s a beginning.
Arthur, who returned to the Raider coaching staff on June 1, inherits a defense which lost the majority of its starters on the line and secondary and surrendered 56 points in a third-round playoff loss to Jack Britt.
“We are doing some things differently in coverage which we haven’t played in years here,” Arthur said. “That is what summer is for. I just want to introduce all of the things we want to do. Expose them to it in the summer and when camp comes around, start doing more things out of our packages.”
Richmond coach Paul Hoggard believes Arthur will make a big impact on the defense and is pleased to have him back in Rockingham.
“We remained close with each other after he left,” Hoggard said. “I would say it’s been an easy transition since he’s been back for the three weeks. During the 7-on-7 practices, I could see the improvement on defense. Mark has a way in how he talks and deals with the kids. He has a good rapport with them. Since he’s been back, I would say comfortable is the best word to describe it.”
Arthur missed Richmond’s spring practices because he was wrapping up his obligations at Marietta (Ga.) High School. Arthur said he only has been working with his players for three days before Tuesday’s 7-on-7 with Chesterfield. He added he plans on using the 10 summer 7-on-7 scrimmages to learn more about his defense and how they react against the opposition.
“We are going to be seeing different offenses which is good,” Arthur said. “When you practice against the same offense everyday, you start cheating — I don’t blame them, I would too. As the summer goes, I will be learning their strengths and weaknesses.”
Richmond’s next 7-on-7 of the summer is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday with South Stanly and Overhills.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.