Hornets’ first scrimmage of the spring provides teaching, evaluation opportunities

The Bryant Hornets football team engaged in its first extended scrimmage of the two-week spring football practice period on Tuesday, giving the coaches a chance to see the team in game-like conditions and get it on video for teaching purposes.

Today, they were set to scale back on the work in pads, said head coach Paul Calley, lift weights and watch the video.[more]

“We’re not in good enough shape to go out there and get after it again (Wednesday),” mentioned the coach. “We started sucking a little air (Tuesday). As much as we’ve done, as much as we’ve run and the conditioning we’ve done and we’re still not in football shape until you practice your way into it.”

Calley added that Thursday with graduation ceremonies that night and Friday with the baseball team playing in the Class 7A State championship in Fayetteville that night would also be lighter workouts.

“We’re going to have to get after it next week,” he emphasized.

“We went about 40 plays and I saw a lot of good things,” he related. “The offensive line executed real well, all three groups. The defense didn’t really stunt so they were at a disadvantage. And, you know, that’s usually our forte, bringing pressure. So, the offense looked a little better than the defense.”

The offensive line is anchored by returning starters Justin Rauch at center and Austin Johnson at tackle.

“A.J.’s improved,” Calley reported. “He’s gotten better. He started last year but he’s added weight, he’s gotten stronger. And Rauch is going to be one of the top centers in the state. Stephen Lacamu, playing left guard, had a pretty good scrimmage too.

“We executed pretty much like I thought we would,” he continued. “We had some breakdowns here and there but a lot more good than there was negative.”

Junior KaRon Dismuke and sophomore Austin Powell continued to work at quarterback. (It was erroneously mentioned in Monday’s practice report that it was junior Jacob Powell at quarterback. He figures to be one of the team’s top running backs but is currently sidelined by injury.)

“Both quarterbacks ran the ball well,” Calley said, “and they executed the offense which is what we wanted to see. They’re gaining confidence. Our running backs, Stephen Clark, Jalen Bell and Dylan Holland all looked good. I feel good about our running game.

“Our passing game was average,” he added. “We’ve still got some work to do there. We’ve got some young quarterbacks but we’re doing things well mechanically. We just need reps.

“Our receivers, Dillon Winfrey and Sawyer Nichols — they’re pretty good,” mentioned the coach.

Of the defense, Calley said, “I saw a lot of quickness. I feel like, in the front seven, we’re as quick as we have been. When we had a couple of situations where we were in short yardage and they brought pressure, they were able to get pressure.”

The d-line is anchored by the return of Josh Hampton who will be a senior this fall.

“Hampton is so much quicker right now than I’ve ever seen him,” Calley noted. “He’s the kind of guy that can dominate a game on both sides of the ball. Ben Seale is the other defensive end and Collin Chapdelaine has recovered from his injury (a broken leg suffered at Sheridan last year) and is playing at the middle linebacker spot. They looked good.

“We made some good plays in the secondary,” he mentioned. “You know when you go to a scrimmage situation rather than a pass scale, the reads come a little quicker and Coach (John) Wells (who works with the secondary) didn’t feel like we reacted as well as we could have but I think we can get that corrected with film and reps.”

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