Allman plays catch-up to get Panthers ready for start of season

08/11/2014 4:01 PM

08/11/2014 4:03 PM

New Colleyville Heritage head football coach Darren Allman could finally catch his breath for a little bit this summer. After hiring the rest of his coaching staff and moving his family from Austin to the Fort Worth-Dallas area, he had a chance to get into a routine.

That said, the break didn’t last too long. Allman has been crafting the 2014 season for the Panthers with his coaching staff. Expectations are still for this program to make the playoffs for its eighth consecutive season.

Allman was hired on April 28 and began spring workouts in the middle of May with a shorthanded coaching staff. Looking back, the 13 spring workouts were necessary. But as fall camp began on Monday, Allman had to learn more.

“The real answer is going to be over the next few days,” Allman said. “We’re going to have to see what kind of carryover there is. We feel good about where we are. But we’re also realistic because there is still a lot of ground to make up.

“Given the circumstances, we’re as far along as we could be. The kids are excited and confident.”

The Panthers are also in a challenging district in 7-6A that features Carroll, Coppell and Euless Trinity. But the game against Hurst L.D. Bell on Oct. 17 could be telling on whether the Panthers will return to the postseason.

Coach: Darren Allman (1st season)

2013 record: 7-4 (lost to Denton Ryan, 44-34, in Class 5A Region I Division II bi-district)

Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense

Key players: RB Demarco Corbin, Sr.; DB/WR Ryan Phillippe, Sr.; DE/TE Max Crosby Sr.; DT Jason Williams, Sr.; CB/WR Nick Felix Sr.; DB/WR Jared Crouch, Sr.; WR Jackson Zeledon Sr.; WR Nico Torres

Notable: The quarterback battle between Trevor Anderson and Clayton Oliver will be resolved by the Aug. 29 opener against Abilene, Allman said. The Aug. 22 scrimmage vs. Arlington Lamar should clear the picture … that said, Allman said the backup will play because there will be specifically designed packages for his quarterback. Plus, if the starter gets hurt, the other has a feel for the game and isn’t coming into the game cold … Anderson should also see some time in the secondary.

•  Justin Toberny is set as the backup running back to Corbin. He will be viewed as a change-of-pace kind of back who also has good hands …. Finally healthy after battling injuries for the last two years, Corbin has aspirations of rushing for 1,000 yards. This offense should give him the chance.
•  Allman is not concerned about the offensive and defensive lines and the secondary. He believes those will be three of the strong points of the team …linebacker is a position of question, however.
•  There is playmaking potential with the wide receiver corps. Phillippe and Crouch have a knack for being ball hawks and making something special happen …. Allman rounded out his coaching staff by hiring Matt James away from Carrollton Newman Smith to be his wide receivers coach and Jim Randall from Highland Park to be his outside linebacker coach and special teams coordinator.

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