Leader Blues

Friday, August 11, 2006

SPORTS >> Lonoke achieves breakthrough

IN SHORT: Despite a pair of injuries, the Jackrabbits have made big strides in week two.

Leader sports writer

The second week of practice for Lonoke was a productive one. The coaching staff spent much of the Thursday and Friday practices going over offensive and defensive strategies and the proper way to line up.

The defensive units also spent a lot of time working on snap counts, learning to move with the ball instead of on the count.

Thursday’s practice produced a couple of scares for the Jackrabbits. Starting tailback Duane Hood injured his knee on a running play, and senior re-ceiver Kylon Boyd suffered an injury to a finger attempting a catch.

Hood’s injury was not deemed anything major, but Boyd was headed to the doctor Thursday afternoon to see if there were any torn tendons in his wounded digit. Lonoke head coach Jeff Jones doesn’t think the injury will be that big of a setback.

“We can’t do anything with Kylon right now but speculate,” Jones said. “Duane’s injury is just something that has been hampering him some, so we let him sit out the last part of today. Hopefully it is something that he can overcome pretty quick.”

Jones said the practices have been solid throughout the week, with the exception of Tuesday.

“They’ve held up well,” Jones said. “We kind of hit the wall on Tuesday, but they’ve come back the last two days. We’ve had some quality practices the last two days, so I feel like we have busted through that wall.”

As the start of the season quickly approaches, Jones still stresses the importance of taking things one day at a time. He says he continues to see new progress made every day, but still sees the potential for much more improvement.

“I feel like they are getting better every day,” Jones said. “We have made a lot of progress, but we still have a long ways to go. I don’t think that by the day before our scrimmage, we will be exactly where we want to be or even after the scrimmage.

“We just want to go out there and make gains every day and continue to im-prove every time we go out on the field, whether it’s a game or a practice. That’s what coaching and the game of football is all about.”

The Jackrabbits will continue to work on lining up, and any adjustments that need to be made at the line. Jones says the lineup is ironed out for the most part, but a lot of cleaning up and improvement on execution is needed.

“We’re trying to do some adjusting and aligning to our defense. The most important thing in a good defense is not to get beat at the line, so we want to make sure we are as solid as we can be in that department. We’re just trying to leave no stone unturned right now.”