Friday, July 19, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe has its best day

Leader sports editor

The Beebe Badger football team continued to improve through its last bit of summer competition. The Badgers went to Conway on Wednesday for its second team camp and final action against other teams for the rest of the offseason.

According to head coach John Shannon, the second camp was better than the first, something he hoped to see and expected.

“Well I was pretty pleased with the first one but I thought we faded pretty bad in the last half of it,” said Shannon. “We’d been off for three weeks with the dead period and I kind of expected that. This time we got some conditioning work in during the week and I thought we held up much better. I felt like there was some fatigue showing towards theend, but didn’t fade nearly like we did last week.”

The passing game, something that’s been nearly non-existent at Beebe the last few years, showed signs of improvement since last week, while the running also improved, even though Shannon said he was pleased with it last week.

“We had ok protection and made some good throws last week, but we had a lot of drops,” Shannon said. “This week Gus Wisdom did really well catching the ball and Marcus Burns made one really good catch. Those will probably be our top receivers going into the season.”

Don’t expect an offensive overhaul from Shannon’s base dead T formation. The Badgers will still be a predominantly running team.

“It’s not like we’re going to passing it a whole lot,” Shannon said. “I just feel like with Aaron (Nunez) at quarterback, he gives us a dual threat. He’s not as consistent yet throwing the ball as we’d like him to be, but he’s got a great arm. If he can improve his consistency I think he can be a great dual-threat quarterback for us. We moved him to quarterback last year even though we thought he’d be one of our better running backs, so we know he can run.”

The running game looked very good on Wednesday. The Badgers broke loose for several big gains and very rarely got stopped for no gain or a loss.

“I thought it was probably our best day as far as execution on offense,” Shannon said. “We didn’t keep stats or anything, but we had a lot of good gains running the ball, and at one time we were 4 out 5 in passing situations when we went to our spread.”

The Beebe defense played better as well, but bootleg plays became big gains a few times against the Badgers.

“Conway and Morrilton especially, they beat us on a few bootlegs,” Shannon said. “We hadn’t really worked on that and we didn’t recognize. But I thought the defense did pretty well. We also had two starters we held out just as a precaution, so we had some young kids in there that don’t have much experience. I thought the secondary did a good job covering for the most part too.”

Beebe will spend the next three weeks doing nothing but weight lifting and conditioning. Preseason practice officially begins on Aug. 5.