Going into his third season, Tucker Woolum has full command over the Mountain Lion offense. After starting both as a freshman and sophomore, the offense will look to him for leadership.
“Tucker has become a better leader in the offseason as far as the weight room goes,” said Pineville head coach Bart Elam. “He holds kids accountable about coming to practice and working hard. He’s ready to lead now.”
Woolum threw for nearly 2,000 yards in both of his first two seasons on the team. Elam said he has always been a great player for Pineville.
“We expect him to do good things on the field, but where we’re seeing improvement is him being a leader and being a strong front runner for us off the field,” said Elam.
The coach said given the position he plays, Woolum has to have an impact.
Woolum helped lead the Mountain Lions to a 5-5 season before the team lost in the first round of the playoffs to Campbellsville. The quarterback had good games in each of team’s victories.
Against South Floyd, Woolum went 8-11 with 123 yards and one touchdown in route to a 28-0 victory. Against McCreary Central, he went 9-10 with 156 yards and four touchdowns. Pineville defeated the Raiders 51-14.
In a 57-6 win over Lynn Camp, Woolum went 4-8 with 133 yards and two touchdowns. Against Allen Central, he threw for 108 yards on eight completions with one touchdown in route to a 35-24 victory.
Woolum threw 111 yards on six completions with one touchdown in a 36-28 victory over Jenkins. He also had a big game in a 23-21 defeat against Harlan Independent. In the game, he went 9-15 for 183 yards and three touchdowns.
“I think he threw for 1,600 or 1,700 yards both of his first two seasons,” said Elam. “In the mountains, that’s quite a bit of yards. That comes with the show as far as our offense goes.”
In Pineville’s balanced offense, Woolum can also make plays on the ground.
“With his feet, he’s going to get us some yards and first downs,” said Elam. “If they take away his feet, then he’s got to be able to throw the football, and he’s been able to do that pretty successfully.”
Elam said one thing Woolum has to do this season is cut down on mistakes.
“What we have to do with him is cut down on silly mistakes that we used to blame on youth,” said Elam. “Now, he don’t have that excuse.”
In regards to a backup at the position, Elam said the team doesn’t have one, per se, to take snaps every day in practice. This is an issue when it comes to smaller schools and having a limited number of players.
“If a player is good enough to be our backup quarterback, then he’s probably good enough to be one of our starting wide receivers or something like that,” said Elam. “If Tucker goes down, we’d obviously — like a lot of small teams — be a little more handcuffed in what we can do.”
The coach said they have small packages, such as the Wildcat, where Will Adams would be brought in to run read plays.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN