Leader Blues

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

SPORTS>>Jackrabbits show new system is taking hold

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The second week of practice for the Lonoke Jackrabbits started out strong with a good three-and-a-half hour workout on Monday. The majority of the practice focused on individual station drills, followed by team offense and defense before the offensive unit ended practice with uncontested drives up and down the practice field two times. Second-year coach Jeff Jones was satisfied with the workout to start the week, and was happy to see the kids buying into the staff’s system.

“We had a pretty good day,” Jones said. “You can tell that a lot of the teaching is starting to take hold. The guys are starting to take their individual drills into our team practice, and we’re excited about that. For a Monday coming off of a weekend we had great enthusiasm and started the week off right.”

Jones says there has been progress from the first day of practice last week, but wishes that progress would develop a little faster in some areas. He hopes to pick up the pace for the second week of practice, as scrimmage-game time draws closer.

“We didn’t make as much progress as we wanted to,” Jones said. “But every day, I did see progress. We’re filming everything; we go in, we evaluate the film, evaluate the players to see who all is catching on. We have a long ways to go, and we are working hard to get there. We are progressing, but we would sure like for it to go a little bit quicker.”

Lonoke currently has 95 percent of its game installed according to Jones. He says the players know what to do in most instances; the task now will be to improve their abilities to execute the plays more consistently.

“We’re pretty good as far as knowing where we need to be,” Jones said. “Now we just have to get a little better at our technique of getting there and what we do when we get there. Offensively, we’re doing real well for this early in the season.”
Injuries have not been a problem so far for the Jackrabbits. While Keifer Vaughn is still recovering from a? injury, Amir Fleming is healthy and back on the field. With five players fresh from church camps and various other summer activities, Jones said Monday’s practice was at full force personnel-wise.

Depth at quarterback will not be a problem for the ‘Rabbits, with four players being groomed for the position. Rollins Elam, Clarence Harris, Jacob Taylor and Michael Nelson have all seen time under center since last week. Elam will get the nod as the starter, but Harris saw a fair amount of time in Monday’s practice out of the option.

Lonoke’s plans for the rest of the week included an afternoon practice on Tuesday due to a morning in-service for faculty, but the Jackrabbits returned to morning sessions this morning. Thursday will also be a morning practice before picture day on Friday morning, followed by a brief scrimmage.