After the first couple of series against Denton Ryan in last Friday’s scrimmage, Grapevine coach Randy Jackson was a little worried. His offense produced a couple of three-and-outs and his defense surrendered several big plays.
With a new coach and his team getting to know each other through playing somebody else and struggling, it could serve as a letdown. Jackson, though, never saw that.
“It didn’t look good,” Jackson said. “But the good thing was that the kids didn’t hang their heads. They weren’t dejected. They kept staying with everything and had high energy. That’s what I really liked.”
Of course, no transition is easy. Jackson and his staff are trying to formulate something cohesive by Friday’s 7:30 p.m. 2014 season opener at North Crowley. Sunday meetings were going to determine final roster spots. But for now, Jackson has a firm idea who will hold his starting skill positions.
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Junior Jacobi White has won the starting running back’s position. However, senior Tyler Wolf should see time depending on the down and distance and game circumstances.
The top wide receivers are going to be junior Madux Middaugh and junior Ty Jones. The Grapevine coaching staff didn’t see Middaugh during spring because of an injury. However, Middaugh met the expectations from his spring work, Jackson said.
“Jacobi is good between the tackles and has a knack of getting through the holes,” Jackson said. “So he’s earned it. With Madux, he’s a gritty guy who can make a big catch. He did that on a third down for us. We also thought Ty was going to have a big year for us because he showed us some good things in spring.”
About North Crowley
When this game was scheduled, North Crowley and Grapevine coaches each believed this would be a great chance for a win. Grapevine went 1-9 in 2013. North Crowley went 0-10. The Panther have a pretty decent running back in Kris Barnes (6-1, 205), who is a physical rusher. He picked up 850 yards in 2013 and there are expectations for a 1,000-yard season. The Panthers are predicted last in District 4-6A with the Arlington schools, Weatherford and Fort Worth Paschal.
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Senior Clayton Oliver emerged from Friday’s scrimmage against Arlington Lamar as the starting quarterback. So he will take the majority of the snaps as the Panthers head to Friday’s 2014 season opener against Abilene at Abilene’s Shotwell Stadium.
During the 10-play segment of the scrimmage, Oliver directed the offense to two touchdowns and had a pretty decent feel for what was expected. While both he and senior Trevor Anderson had their ups and downs in the controlled scrimmage, Oliver will get the first chance.
However, as head coach Darren Allman has said, he will design packages for the other quarterback because there are going to be situations where the other quarterback will be needed.
The Panthers should have a pretty good defensive front, led by senior defensive tackle Jason Williams. He moved very well sideline to sideline.
This opener against Abilene will be pretty interesting because the Eagles went 3-7 in 2013 and missed the playoffs. However, they do feature a pretty talented running back in sophomore Abram Smith and safety Sebryn Morris. Smith scored seven touchdowns in the Eagles’ last three games.