Usually, it’s a struggle when a new coaching staff takes over a football program and deals with a senior class used to the old ways of doing things. Grapevine coach Randy Jackson hasn’t seen that with this group, though.
Through a spring camp and first week of fall camp, Jackson is working with a very cooperative bunch. But this is also a team that’s hungry to win. Grapevine has won only four games in the past two years.
“I’ve never enjoyed a senior class as much as I’ve enjoyed these guys,” Jackson said. “Seniors are the hardest to win over. But I think they’re very excited to move from 6A to 5A. It’s a perfect storm. We have a good vibe here. They’re giving us a great effort.”
The Mustangs began in shorts and helmets through the first four days and then donned full pads last Friday. They went through a team scrimmage on Saturday. Jackson said it’s a little difficult to tell where his team is when it’s only in shorts, but he did like the retention it showed when it came to running schemes.
While defensive lineman Robbie Haider went through spring (he was cleared after tearing his ACL) with no difficulty, Jackson continued to be encouraged and is optimistic how good his defensive line can be this fall.
“Robbie’s going to be one of our top linemen,” Jackson said. “When you miss your junior year like he did, you will play and work with a good sense of urgency. So he has that going for him.”
Irony at its best
Grapevine’s scrimmage will be Friday against Denton Ryan and former coach Dave Henigan. Henigan left Grapevine in January to take the position at Ryan, ollowing Joey Florence moving into the Denton ISD’s athletic director’s position.
Jackson said he and Henigan talked about some of the scrimmage format. .
“I’ve never dealt with the Denton schools, but they’re usually very good,” Jackson said. “I know they’ll be one of the best teams we’ll play this year.”
Colleyville Heritage update
The Panthers managed to get through the first week with no major injuries and a better sense of who they are offensively and defensively, head coach Darren Allman said.
Remember, this program only went through 13 spring practice days and didn’t get too detailed with Allman’s defensive and offensive concepts. But one side has his attention.
“We’re pretty excited about how the defense has looked,” Allman said. “Offensively, we’re not quite on the level of the defense. But that’s typical of most teams early in the year. We eased into the contact. Mainly, we spent a lot of time making sure we had the right people in the right place.”
The only part of the defense that remains in question is linebacker. There are four candidates that Allman is looking at but is still too far away from naming the starters.
“The good thing about open competition like this is that you wind up building good depth,” Allman said. “They’re sharing the reps in practice and able to show you a lot of different things.”
The Panthers scrimmage Arlington Lamar Friday morning at Mustang-Panther Stadium. By the weekend, Allman said he should be able to name a starting quarterback between Clayton Oliver and Trevor Anderson, Allman said. He wants the starter to have a full week of reps preparing for the opener against Abilene…senior running back Demarco Corbin is off to a good start in camp. “He’s a special player,” Allman said. “He will have a good year.”