Friday, August 08, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Bost tells Chamber: Wanted to play best

Leader sportswriter

The Lonoke Chamber of Commerce hosted Lonoke’s high school and junior high head football coaches at Thursday’s luncheon at the historic Lonoke Depot, and LHS head coach Doug Bost says his team is excited after a strong summer of working out against some of the most talented teams in the state.

Before mentioning the high school team’s various team camps and 7-on-7 meets that the Jackrabbits took part in this summer, coach Bost said that all three of his assistants from a year ago are back with the team, along with another assistant that was hired last Thursday.

Bost said that Brandon Barbaree, who was the head football coach at Carlisle last year, has joined his staff and will assist in coaching both the high school and junior high teams this season at Lonoke.

“He’s going to help us at high school and go down to junior high,” said Bost of Barbaree. “He’s going to help both, so we’re really excited to get that extra coach this year.”

Bost discussed his team’s 9-3 season a year ago. He added that after his team’s season ended in late November that he gave his returning players and newcomers the rest of the semester off before getting back to work in January.

“We got to host two home playoff games here,” Bost said. “We gave the kids about three weeks off to rest and we hit it again. The first of January we hit it and have been going all this time. It was a real busy summer. We went to some 7-on-7s, team camps.

“We went and we played the best. We went against Pine Bluff, North Little Rock, Camden Fairview, Warren, Arkadelphia and Nashville. We wanted to play the best to get us ready, and those kids, when we did something good against those real good teams they got excited.

“I tell you, they are ready to go. We started Monday with fall practice. We started with 40 kids. We had a parent rent out War Memorial Stadium, so we got to be the first ones in the state this year to practice there. It was a real good practice. The kids are working hard and doing everything we’ve asked of them. They are ready to play Maumelle – Aug. 25 at Maumelle.”

The August 25 game at Maumelle will be the Jackrabbits’ scrimmage game before they open the season at home Friday, Sept. 5 against Star City in nonconference action.

Coach Darrick Lowery, whose junior high team also began fall practice Monday, said he currently has 56 kids on his roster, but not all have been able to get to practice because of lack of transportation. Like the high school team, Lowery said his group had a busy summer as well.

“We went to a lot of 7-on-7s,” said Lowery. “On Monday nights we were at Cabot; Tuesday nights we were either going to England, Carlisle, Maumelle or here (Lonoke). Thursday nights we were going to Conway.

“We got to travel quite a bit and play against a lot of the best teams in the state. We also went to two team camps. We had one at OBU (Ouachita Baptist University). We played against Malvern, Lake Hamilton, Searcy, Arkadelphia – some of these larger schools than us, and our kids fought hard and made a lot of great plays.

“We also had a team camp at Conway. We played against two Conway junior high teams, Searcy, Morrilton, Pulaski Academy and Beebe. What we’re doing in junior high is trying to build off of our success that we’ve had the last two seasons.”

The junior Jackrabbits are coming off of back-to-back conference championship seasons, and they’ll be playing for their third straight conference title this fall. Their first scrimmage will be Tuesday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. against Maumelle at James B. Abraham Stadium.

The junior Jackrabbits’ first regular season game will be Sept. 4 at home against Beebe.