Arlington Bowie football coach challenges players in first fall practice

Posted Monday, Aug. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Danny DeArman era at Arlington Bowie started off with a bang during the team’s first regular-season practice Monday morning.

The players began with weightlifting at 7:30 a.m. followed by a series of sprints for conditioning before rolling right into the first of two practices.

“I wanted to start off with adversity and hit them right in the mouth with it,” DeArman said. “I wanted them to make the adjustment. My main focus was they were able to deal with an adverse situation and realize it wasn’t a big deal, just something they had to get through.”

How did they respond?

“They didn’t bat an eye,” DeArman said. “Coach [Trey] Dougherty set up a great summer conditioning program, so it didn’t faze them.”

DeArman is taking over for Kenny Perry, who in seven years turned a moribund Vols program into a squad that regularly made deep playoff runs. Perry left to become the director of high school football relations at TCU after steering Bowie to an 11-2 record and a District 3-5A title in 2012.

DeArman, who worked for Perry at Bowie, Arlington Sam Houston and Haltom, was the Vols’ defensive coordinator last year. He admits to catching himself gravitating toward the defense during practice.

“I’ve tried to step back and let the other coaches do their thing, and I’m trying to stay out as much as I can,” DeArman said. “I’m forcing myself to start with the offense, and then I slide over to the defensive side. I started that in the spring and it’s helping.”

Perry left DeArman with a team chock-full of talent, including his son, Keaton Perry, a senior quarterback who opened last year with a lights-out performance before suffering his second major knee injury in as many seasons.

“I’m going to miss my dad being on the field and being such a good coach, who’s taught me nearly everything I know,” said Keaton, who is fully recovered after an arduous rehabilitation. “But Coach DeArman has been with my dad ever since I can remember, and he’s like a father figure to me and great coach also. I expect Coach DeArman to do just as good of a job, and hopefully we’ll win some games.”

Joining Keaton Perry on offense is a slew of standout skill players such as junior Tony James, who is sliding back to receiver after taking over for Perry last season. James is one of the most elusive players in the area and is expected to line up all over the field this year.

“I feel like moving back to receiver doesn’t limit our offense. We have a good passing attack with Keaton back in the backfield throwing the ball and we’re good at running, so we can always keep the defense on their heels,” James said. “I feel like there is no limit with me going back to receiver.”

Despite all of the returning talent, DeArman was most impressed with the team’s attitude Monday, adding that’s what he’ll remember most from his first regular-season practice as head coach.

“There was no complaining; leaders were talking; there was energy; there was excitement,” DeArman said. “I think the one thing that stands out the most is that selfless attitude — that it’s not about one person, it’s about the team. I was proud of that and the way the kids responded.”

Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret

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