Saturday, May 23, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Thirty out for Bison spring ball

Leader sportswriter

The Carlisle Bison got their spring football practices underway last week, and had only two this week because of heavy rain on Wednesday, but the Bison will look to finish their spring practice sessions on a high note next week.

Carlisle’s numbers this year are typical, with 28 to 30 participants taking part in spring drills thus far. The Bison football team graduated 12 seniors this month, including their two leading rushers and starting quarterback from last season.

As far as how this spring has gone for the Bison, it, like the team’s numbers, has been typical so far, according to Carlisle coach Jack Keith.

“It’s been a pretty typical spring,” said Keith. “There are times where it looks great and there are times where we look real rusty. We’ve got a long ways to go, but that’s why we have spring.”

Even though the team has looked rusty at times this spring, Keith is pleased with the work ethic his team has displayed in the last two weeks, and the promise that’s there.

“There’s plenty of promise,” Keith said. “We’ve got a long ways to go, but they’ve been working hard and we’re getting better.”

Offense has been an emphasis for the Bison these last two weeks – the reason for that being the fact that many of the Bison starters on that side of the ball were seniors.

“We’ve been practicing mainly offense more,” Keith said. “We lost a lot up front and in the backfield, so we’re just focusing real hard on fundamentals up front and with the backs. So we’ve been focusing on offense a little more.”

As far as what Carlisle’s been working on, scheme-wise, offensively and defensively, it’s very similar to last year’s units and what the Bison football team has run in recent years.

“We’re real similar to what we were doing last year,” Keith said. “So it’s not too hard to get back in the groove. Of course, there’s always going to be a few wrinkles here and there, but we’re basing out of what we normally do.”

Up front, Keith said his linemen this year are a little smaller compared to years past, and that they’ll need to find ways to make up for that lack of size.

“We’ve got a little bit of size,” Keith said. “We’ve got a couple of guys that are good-sized and some that aren’t. Overall, we’re probably smaller than we’ve been. We’ll have to make up for that with quickness and tenacity.”

Though the team has promise, there’s still plenty left to work on, which Keith said has led to some head scratching at times throughout the spring.

“Oh, there’s been some head scratching,” Keith said. “There’s times where we’ve looked like we’ve hardly ran a play before. We’ve got a long ways to go, and I think we need to start cleaning that up with the fundamentals. That’s where we’re the furthest away at.

“I think the knowledge of where we’re going, offensively, we’ve got the knowledge and know what to do, it’s how to do it is the problem so far. That’s what we’re working on.”