Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SPORTS >> Bost named new coach at Lonoke

Leader sportswriter

Lonoke High School an-nounced Monday that current junior high football coach Doug Bost will be the new varsity football coach of the Jackrabbits. He replaces three-year coach Jeff Jones, who announced earlier this year he would be departing to return to Springdale High School as its new defensive coordinator.

“This is something that has come along in the last seven or eight years that I knew I wanted to work toward being some day,” Bost said. “It’s something that I had kind of burning inside of me. It’s very exciting. There were a couple of years that really weren’t like Lonoke football, but we came in with the new system, and now, the kids are excited too.”

That new system was Jones’ version of the popular Spread formation. Bost spent countless hours meeting with Jones over the past three seasons learning the system, and said that will be the same system Jackrabbit fans will see when the 2009 team takes the field in early September.

“I told the kids that 90 to 95 percent of what was in place will still be,” Bost said. “Of course, there are a few of the pass sets that I call a little differently from coach Jones, but it will be the same type of philosophy.”

Bost has also been the boys track coach at Lonoke High for the past seven years. He took over as coach of the junior high football team in 2006, leading the junior ’Rabbits to a conference title and an 8-1 season record in his first year.

“One of the factors was that coach Bost has done such a nice job with the junior high team,” said Lonoke athletic director Mark Hobson. “Learning the system under coach Jones, we expect a smooth transition.”

Lonoke defensive coordinator Tim Scarborough was one of two in-house candidates for the job. Offensive line coach Larry Smith initially expressed interest before pulling out.

As a member of the faculty at Lonoke for the past 13 years, Bost has worked his way up through the ranks. He began as an assistant coach on the junior high team and head coach of the junior high track team.

The Jackrabbits earned their only state championship in football in 1994, but fell on hard times after the departure of coach Mark Uhiren after the 2001 season. Lonoke suffered through four straight losing seasons before Jones came on board in 2006. Jones’ team struggled to a sub-.500 record in his first year, but the Jackrabbits earned a conference runner-up No. 2 seed in his second season, as well as a trip to the second round of the 4A state playoffs. Lonoke won the 2-4A league title outright in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs with a final 10-2 record.

Bost will lead the senior boys track team at the indoor meet in Fayetteville this weekend before stepping down from that helm to focus on football. He said athletic director Mark Hobson “has a couple of guys in mind to fill that spot.”

He will have his work cut out for him. Only three starters on offense will return for 2009. That includes running backs Brandon Harris and Morgan Linton, along with guard Tyler Breashears.

Upon the announcement on Monday night at the school board meeting, Bost met with the team the following morning. He will meet with each player individually through the rest of this week to discuss team and individual goals.

He plans on keeping the summer 7-on-7 tournament squad going, as well as the weight regimen for linemen.

“The biggest thing for us this spring will be filling positions,” Bost said. “We lost a lot. We will lift two or three days a week, and we will keep doing the 7-on-7.

“That’s something you have to have when you’re running out of the spread. You have to have the kids out there doing it all summer or you’ll get behind. Lonoke was traditionally an I-formation team, but since we’ve switched to the spread, more kids have come out.”