After his team’s scrimmage against Haughton Friday, Bossier coach Michael Concilio told his players not to put too much stock in what had taken place.
“You know what this was?” Concilio said. “It was a glorified practice.”
Basically, Concilio was telling his team that it was simply a learning experience.
Four Bossier Parish teams wrapped up spring practice with scrimmages Friday.
The scrimmages did give coaches and players an idea of what they need to work on in the offseason to get ready for preseason practice.
They also are a tool coaches can use to evaluate players, especially new ones battling for starting positions.
As usual, each coach can point to some positives and some areas that need work with the start of the season about three and half months away.
Haughton-Bossier: At Bossier, the Bearkats faced a Haughton team with a new quarterback but with a lot of experience at other positions, especially on offense.
The outcome was what you might expect.
Haughton’s first-team offense scored six touchdowns.
New quarterback Will Haines threw four touchdown passes and ran for another TD.
Javonte Woodard caught two touchdown passes. Antonio Woodfork and P.J. Douglas caught one apiece.
Jarred Craft, a two-time All-District 1-5A selection, ran and caught the ball well. He also scored a touchdown.
“We did a lot of good stuff,” Haughton coach Rodney Guin said. “We’ve got some things we need to work on. The linemen need to get a little better. We dropped some passes, threw some bad passes.
“We’ve got to get a little better there, but we’ve got good skill people. And they can make the plays. We’ve just got to work this summer on that and I think we’ll be OK.”
Haines was effective running the ball and throwing, but there are some areas where he can improve, Guin said.
“He hasn’t played a whole lot in games,” Guin said. “He’s going to get better. He can run the football well, which is a plus for us.”
Bossier’s first-team offense didn’t score any touchdowns, but the Bearkats did reach the Haughton 1 when time expired during their first set of plays.
Each team got the ball twice with a 12-minute running clock instead of a set number of plays. As in most scrimmages, there was no punting or kickoffs. If a team failed to make a first down the ball was brought back to the 30.
Bossier backs Darius Leary, Chris Williams and Chris Hall all ran hard. New quarterback Justin Kennon got valuable experience running the Wing-T.
“What we wanted to do, what the definition of the offense is, is to find three-and-a-half yards,” Concilio said. “That’s all we wanted to do.
“Part of the purpose of running a timed clock is to find out offensively how much of the clock we could actually burn. With new kids in the backfield, and nine on offense, we had to make them understand the definition of the Wing-T.
“I think we burned eight minutes of the clock driving the ball on the first series before we had to turn it over. We want to use that offense to try to keep those no-huddle guys off the field. That’s a plus of what we got out of it.”
Airline-Northwood: At Airline, the Vikings and Falcons played a scoreless 15-minute regulation period after running a set number of plays.
In the 15-minute period, Airline reached the Northwood 25 on a pass from Chase Rivers to Darian Germany but couldn’t score.
The Airline defense kept the Falcons out of the end zone on four straight plays from the Vikings 10 near the end of the period.
During the controlled portion of the scrimmage, Northwood’s first team scored once on a long play. Airline didn’t score but did drive inside the 20 before having a tipped pass intercepted.
Northwood shared the District 1-4A title last season and has All-District quarterback Jerrick Peterson among its returnees
Airline coach Bo Meeks has had to replace nine starters on offense this spring.
“I saw a lot of good things,” Meeks said. “Northwood’s got a very good football team. They’re very experienced, which is something we’re not.
“They came out early and took it to us and then we kind of dug our feet in and made a lot of plays. Overall, I thought as the scrimmage progressed we got better and better. A lot of guys who haven’t played got experience in varsity action. We’ve got a lot of good film to teach on and build on.”
Benton-Byrd: At Lee Hedges Stadium, Benton and new head coach Reynolds Moore faced a Byrd team that shared the District 1-5A title with Parkway and Airline last season.
Much of the nine days of practice leading up to the scrimmage was devoted to installing the spread offense.
The Tigers didn’t score, but Moore said he saw some positives, including the play of quarterback Jordan Shaffer.
“Shaffer looked good,” he said. “He even stood behind us when we had the No. 2 and 3 offenses running and talked to me. We talked through it and he saw things I’ve been telling him he would see and I think that made a big impact on him. Our receivers have to get better at running their routes, I do know that.”
Considering the amount of the time he’s had to install the new offense, Moore said he was generally pleased.
“If I’d have been here since March when I got hired, I would’ve expected a lot more, but just given nine days I was pleased with our guys’ effort and progress.”
Another thing Moore took away from the scrimmage is that his team is going to need to be more physical.
“I think we saw as physical a team as we’re going to see all year,” he said. “I know there are some teams on our schedule that are very physical as well. It gives us an idea of how we stack up against something like that.
“You know, I think when they hear the spread offense a lot of them just think about throwing it downfield and that sort of thing, but my mindset is still wanting to be an old-school football mindset of being physical.
“I think it kind of hammered home the point after first series of plays that, hey, man, we’re still going to have to be physical.”
Moore didn’t see anything that can’t be corrected during summer workouts and preseason practice, though.
“My thing is whenever I see anything I can teach and I can fix that’s always promising to me,” he said.