Monday, June 10, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Coaches pleased after one meeting

Leader sports editor

The first Cabot High School 7-on-7 football meet was held Wednesday at Beebe’s Bro Irwin Stadium. The neighboring Badgers had to host the meet because the track surrounding the field at Panther Stadium is under construction.

Joining Cabot and Beebe in the meet were Jacksonville, Des Arc and Hazen, and the three local coaches were all pleased with what they saw from their teams.

Cabot defensive coordinator Randy Black is the event organizer and says there were a couple of things he was excited about.

“I think we have a couple of guys who are catching the ball really well,” Black said. “Melder and Jake Ferguson are doing a great job and I thought they stood out a little bit. I was also pleased with the effort. I didn’t see much loafing out here.”

The format Black laid out had four teams on the field at all times and one team taking a rest. All five teams faced the other four in 40-yard competition before a fast-paced goal-line exercise had one team on defense as the other four teams quickly rotated to run one play each from anywhere inside the 10-yard line it wanted to spot the ball.

It was in that situation where Cabot’s defense broke down a little bit.

“We didn’t do as well there as we’d have liked, but it’s the first time out,” Black said. “No question we’ve got a lot left to learn. We gave up too many touchdowns in the goal line situation, but it was mostly due to things we can fix pretty easily. We just had some guys out of position and things like that, and that’s what this is for. We’re here to identify those problems and get them corrected.”

Beebe coach John Shannon showed some exasperation early in the meet with his offense’s inability to get lined up correctly, but felt much better about things at the end.

“The defense did pretty good and I’m pretty pleased with that,” Shannon said. “The offense was just inconsistent. I thought the effort was there, we just have to execute better. There were times when I thought our quarterback (Aaron Nunez) looked great. When he gets his shoulders around and squares up, he throws a really pretty ball. He’s just got to be more consistent with it. But I think it’s a good starting point for us. This group works pretty good and we’ll get better as we keep working on it.”

Jacksonville’s first-year offensive coordinator Adam Thrash wanted to see how his skill players could execute his new system against competition. He wasn’t displeased with the offense, but said he thought the defense was sharper than the offense in first outing.

“I think that’s expected a little bit,” Thrash said. “Defense I think is what this team is known for. But this is great for us. We had some great moments on offense. We have some playmakers at receiver and (quarterback) Reggie (Barnes) is doing a good job. He needs to be a little more consistent and we need to be a little sharper on our routes. But overall I liked how things went for the first time out.”