Now that his first spring football season is over, new Northwest head football coach Bill Poe can exhale for just a little bit.
Sometime during the summer, he’s going to have to move his family from Central Texas up to their new home. But he can reflect upon what he called a productive spring season that culminated in last Friday’s spring football game held at the Northwest ISD Stadium.
“We have a great group of kids, and the best thing is that they compete at a very high level,” Poe said. “What I like to see is their passion and intensity. When you have that and then some ability, you have something good working.”
Like so many of his colleagues have done, Poe had his first team offense face his first team defense. The second team offense faced the second team defense. The game went four standard quarters.
Poe used a point scoring total for both the offense and defense. So the final score was a bit inconsequential. It marked when good things happened on either side. He got the idea when he watched Byron Nelson go through its spring football game on May 23.
“I thought it was a unique thing to do and thought it would add value to what we wanted to get out of the game,” Poe said.
Finding wide receivers
The top wide receiver for the 2014 group is Emmanuel Moore. He had 1,068 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. But for what Poe wants to do with his offense, he needs the ball spread around. At this point, it would appear the second and third options are going to be sophomore Syrus Moore (5-5, 150) at inside receiver and junior Austin Navarett (6-2, 185) at an outside spot.
Poe said he liked how Moore’s hands developed. Inside receivers have to be good possession-type players. Navarett’s size could create match-up problems. But the 7-on-7 season and fall camp should help develop each player’s game further.
“We want two or three guys to be playmakers for us,” Poe said. “We cannot have Emmanuel be a one-man show for us. That’s not how this offense is going to be successful.”
Senior Jesse Drummer went through a challenging spring but seemed to be more comfortable as the days passed, Poe said. Sometimes, improvisation is needed if a play breaks down. That’s what will happen in football. Quarterbacks have to be confident they know how to handle that.
“In our offense, the quarterback has to make the right decisions and has to make decisions on the fly,” Poe said. “When you have someone who is cool and collected back there, everybody responds to it.”
Drummer’s backup will be sophomore Carson Hickman (6-2, 180). Don’t be surprised to see him get some playing time at certain points of the 2014 season so he will have a feel for the varsity game. He is expected to be Drummer’s heir apparent.
Notable• Poe called it a great spring because there were no significant injuries. “That’s what I was the happiest about,” he said.
• One defensive player to watch is sophomore defensive end Caden McDonald (6-1, 195). There is a theme of youth because there are several sophomores in key roles.
“The one thing we want to do is put the best 22 players out there,” Poe said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re seniors or sophomores.”