Friday, August 07, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Technique is the focus early on for Jackrabbits

Leader sportswriter

After what’s been a busy summer, the Lonoke Jackrabbits began fall practice this week, and even though it’s the first week, head Jackrabbit Doug Bost is pleased overall with what he’s seen from his group.

“It’s been good,” said Bost. “Monday and Tuesday the energy was real good. (Wednesday) I think their legs kind of got to them. We’ve been doing a lot of running the first two days, but overall, the energy’s been good, the effort’s been good, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

With full contact not allowed until teams get five fall practices in, the Jackrabbits spent this week working mostly on conditioning and technique.

“Just coaching up a lot of technique,” Bost said. “Just the little things that you don’t have to go full contact on. We’ve been spending a lot of time, individually, working on technique stuff.

“We want to get good at our technique. On defense, are we getting our reads, and on offense, are we executing? This is the perfect time to work on all of that.”

Some teams spend the first week of practices working more on one side of the ball or one area of concern than another, but Bost said his practices have been well balanced in all three aspects of the game – offense, defense and special teams.

“It’s been an hour of defense, an hour of offense, and we put in one for special teams each day,” Bost said. “We feel good about offense and defense.

“We’ve pretty much covered everything, it’s just going over it and getting a lot of reps on it, and then special teams, it’s implementing a new one each day. I’m real proud of how we’ve progressed this week.”

Bost’s numbers this year are typical for Lonoke. The head Jackrabbit said he’ll probably have right at 45 players by the time fall practice sessions are all said and done.

“We had some drop off,” Bost said, “but I’d say it’s been pretty consistent over the last seven years of somewhere between 40 and 45. It’s my biggest senior class since ’09. I’ve got 15 seniors and that’s great when you have that many seniors.”

The Jackrabbits have had a busy summer with several 7-on-7 camps they’ve attended, as well as the summer workouts required by Bost and his staff. That extra work has led to a smoother transition to fall practice, according to Bost.

“I remember back in the early days when you didn’t do a whole lot in the summer, and when you came back you started from square one,” Bost said. “I mean, this is the cadence, this is your stance, this is your play – all that you do year-round now, so you don’t have to do all that anymore.”

Offensively, the Rabbits have plenty of experience at the skill positions, but not on the line. Bost said this year’s group of linemen will be small compared to years past, but he said he does like the progress that group has made in the first few days of fall practices.

“On the offensive line, it’s no secret,” Bost said, “we will be the smallest team every Friday night. We’ve told our kids that. Our offensive line is going to average 210 pounds, and everybody else is 250, 260.”