Highschool soccer: coaches are usually proud of spring coaching; Summer season coaching in progress underneath
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no football training in spring and numerous restrictions on summer training, including no 7-on-7 games.
This year things have basically returned to normal in the spring and summer looks the same as most of the restrictions have been lifted.
Rain dampened parts of the spring training, but the head coaches of the six parish teams were generally satisfied with the way things went.
“It was a great thing to get back to normal training and just build a team,” said Bo Meeks, the airline’s head coach. “The team building aspect was as good as left out last year. It was great to be able to come back to that. “
Here is a summary of the spring exercises and an outlook on the summer workouts. The return of the NWLA 7-on-7 Charity Invitational tournament, hosted by Benton in Freedom Fields on June 18-19, is a highlight.
Each team’s record for the last season is in brackets.
The Vikings got eight days of training and ended with a scrimmage against North DeSoto.
“I thought spring went really well,” said Meeks. “We were able to run in eight training days and the scrimmage in all the rain. So feel pretty good about it.
“But we have a lot of new people to replace, especially offensively. I thought we really grew in the off season and in training and saw a lot of guys improve. Hopefully we’ve answered some questions on both sides. But I thought it was really productive. “
Meeks said the scrimmage got off to a somewhat difficult start, but the Vikings improved over time.
“They followed us a little early and as the scrimmage went we got better, which I expected due to lack of experience,” he said. “I feel like we have good, young, talented guys but we don’t have a lot of experience, so it will be about growing up as soon as possible. I thought spring would be good for it. “
With the graduation of Alex Garcia, Airline has a new starting quarterback for the first time since the 2019 season.
Meeks said the second Ladarius Epps and the senior Gavin Ashworth both work in the position.
The Vikings will also have new starters in the running back. Senior Michael Johnson saw some action last season. Second year Tre ‘Jackson is also counted in this position.
The airline has two seasoned recipients in Junior Daxton Chavez and Senior Bryson Turner.
“It’s a hard working group, kind of a workers group,” Meeks said. “You can always count on them to be ready for action. And it’s paid off in terms of our growth, so I’m looking forward to fall to see how that plays out. It was a good spring. It was really.”
The airline plans to compete in the Benton tournament and has other 7v7 games planned for June and July as well.
“We’re just trying to find work and experience as many of these young people as possible,” Meeks said. “It’s not real football, but it’s live replay, throwing and catching that keep working on the passing game. We probably concentrated a little more on the running game in the spring. “
Benton head coach Reynolds Moore said the rain made it difficult during the two-week spring training season.
“Spring was a little frustrating,” he said. “I think we were on about six and a half days out of ten because of the weather. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so much rain in one spring. “
Because of the rain, the Tigers’ scrimmage against Haynesville was moved from Haynesville to the Bossier High turf field. More rain fell during the scrimmage, but the teams still have some work to do.
“We did a decent scrimmage but not everything we wanted because of the weather,” said Moore.
Moore also said Benton had gotten into a prolific scrimmage within the squad.
“We invited the parents to come out and watch,” he said. “I think everyone was just hungry for exercise. We saw that again in the spring game. It was raining and we still had a pretty good audience there. “
Moore was generally happy with the spring training.
“All in all, it’s been a pretty good spring,” he said. “Our defense is better than I thought. That was a little worrying, especially in secondary school. But we’ve had a couple of guys coming back from baseball who haven’t been out since their first year and really, really made a difference there. It made us stronger and faster. “
Benton had a couple of receiver losses with injuries.
Moore took a close look at the running back position. Caleb Hood, who made an impressive transition from quarterback to running back last season, moved his family to Ville Platte.
But Moore liked what he saw of Greg Manning and Ethan Johnson in their sophomore year.
“We are very, very pleased with their progress,” he said.
Andy Lim also looked good at the receiver, but was slowed down a bit by an ankle injury. Senior Pearce Russell returns and could be the first recipient.
“He’ll set the tone,” said Moore.
Junior Gray Walters returns as quarterback.
“Gray had a good spring,” said Moore.
Moore also liked Jeffrey King’s sophistication.
“I was very impressed with what he did,” said Moore.
Senior Davis Sellers looked fine in both the tight end and the defensive end. But Moore has some big holes in defense to fill.
In addition to hosting his 7v7 tournament, Benton plans to compete in the Northwestern State tournament this weekend and in July at Lake Hamilton, Ark..
The Tigers also plan to partner with Huntington, Red River and North DeSoto in 7v7 games that focus more on each team’s offense and defense than on earning points in competition.
“We can actually get better instead of just playing a game that works well 7v7 or a defense that works 7v7, but you would never play it in a real game,” said Moore .
The Bearkats had seven days of training but had no scrimmage.
“Spring was more of a learning unit,” said head coach Michael Concilio. “We graduated from 14 seniors who all played.
“We have a lot of new children whom we want to place in certain places. We just chose not to play a spring game. I don’t even know if we found a place for everyone in the seven days of training. “
Bossier has 10 seniors who started or saw playing time last season so Concilio has a solid core group to work with. But which positions they will play in the end will not be finally decided until August.
Concilio hopes the 7v7 competition this summer will help determine that. The Bearkats plan to work with Glenbrook Academy, a new LHSAA member, the Magnolia School of Excellence, Lakeside and Homer.
Concilio is looking for a replacement for quarterback Coleman Beeson, a three-year starter.
One player to watch out for will be Senior D’Angelo Garner, who made some big games on both sides of the ball last year.
Because of the rain, the Bucs couldn’t have their red-white-intra-squad crush. But head coach Jason Brotherton was generally happy with how things went.
“It was good,” he said. “We saw what we wanted to see. We found a few guys that we think could fill some holes for us, some guys that we lost last year. And that’s the most important thing we wanted to see. “
The Bucs will have a seasoned offensive team with the return of junior quarterback Colin Rains, junior running back Dexter Smith and senior receivers Coleman Stafford and Joshua Sewell. Junior John Ecot ensures speed.
But Brotherton said the Bucs still had to find a # 1 recipient to replace Gage East.
Haughton has some major gaps in defense, especially with linebackers, with the completion of the main pillars Jake St. Andre, Dylan Turner and Sean Hardison.
Brotherton and his staff focused on evaluating the younger players in May.
“It was more about the freshmen who will be in their sophomore year and the sophomores who will be juniors who can fill the Jake St. Andres and Dylan Turners places.”
Haughton plays in the Benton 7v7 tournament but as usual the summer workouts will mostly focus on all areas of the game.
The Panthers had a solid two weeks of training topped off with a scrimmage against West Ouachita.
“I thought the scrimmage went very well against her,” said Coy Brotherton, now in his sophomore year as head coach. “Only compared to where we were at that time last year, is it like day and night. We really and truly laughed about it, but we’re further ahead than at the end of the season last year because we’ve been in the system for a lot longer. “We are lucky on the offensive that we have eight returning starters back. This is a veterans group. Six of our top offensive linemen are back. It’s always an advantage, especially at the beginning of the season or at the spring ball, to have these guys before the game. “
The Panthers are returning all of their offensive backcourt, including junior first-team all-district running back Jaylan White. Senior running back Ron’Tavious Richond and senior quarterback Cannon Link are also returning.
Ed Moses, who had nine catches for 160 yards in the scrimmage, plans to take on the role of featured receiver with the graduation of Jalun Reed.
“Cannon Link is doing a lot better as a quarterback,” said Brotherton. “He’s had a good spring. Recipient Ed Moses built a pretty good relationship there. I’m pretty excited about it. “
Brotherton also wants to bring White and Richmond onto the field at the same time so that they can play both receiver and running back. “
“We’re feeling pretty good with the guys up front, the signal caller and the two running backs,” said Brotherton.
Parkway plans to compete in the Northwestern State 7-on-7 tournament and Benton tournament, and to continue standard summer training three days a week.
Ease of use (3-5)
Christopher Wilson is entering his second season as head coach facing a well-known challenge.
“We didn’t have any numbers this spring so it took us a couple of days,” said Wilson. “We achieved seven out of ten points. We had a few boys who had to catch up on their grades. We installed a new offensive and defensive so that it wasn’t too bad. “
The Lions didn’t have a spring scrimmage, but they will be able to compete in 7v7 games this summer, including the Benton tournament.
Wilson also said Plain Dealing plans to partner with Green Oaks for 7v7 games this month.
Senior quarterback / linebacker Braeden Sterling, who missed significant playtime last season due to an injury, is healthy, Wilson said. Senior Kendric Blanks is another returnee who could play various positions.
– Featured photo by Robert Summerlin