DANVILLE — The best thing about young football players is that they grow up and become more experienced.
That's what the Danville football coaches are seeing in junior Hoey Watson and sophomore Latrey Reed, the starting inside linebackers for the Vikings.
"They have been working at getting better. You can see the potential that they have to be a very good players,'' Danville coach B.J. Luke said. "Hopefully, they continue working at getting better and they become the football players that we think they can be.''
This season, Reed leads the Vikings with 56 tackles, while Watson, the team leader a year ago, is tied for second with 54 stops.
"I know that I've had my ups and downs this season,'' said Watson, who finished with 91 tackles a year ago. "I've been trying to work hard to get better all year.
"The coaches have talked with me about it, and are working with me to getting the things corrected.''
At the same time, the Danville coaches have been working with Reed at the other linebacker spot, basically teaching him how to play varsity football.
"This season has been something totally different for me,'' Reed said. "Last year, I was just learning about high school football on the freshman level and I realized that things are a lot different from little league football.
"This year, it was even more different because you have so many more responsibilities at linebacker. You have more defensive plays and it's a lot more detailed. You really have a lot more to learn and do.''
Watson and Reed, who were teammates for the Tilton Panthers in youth football, have leaned on each other this season when it has come to make the calls for the defense.
"That can be really stressing because you have a lot on your head,'' Watson said. "And if you make a mistake, you have a lot to do to make up for it.''