Thursday, May 31, 2012
MA Patriots enjoy productive spring
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy had just five days of spring football practice but new head coach Bart Jenkins said it was plenty.
“All five days were extremely productive,” said Jenkins, who is stepping up from his role as assistant coach the past two seasons. “A lot of people shoot for different things in the spring. I like to focus on terminology and the basics of what we’re trying to do, and I feel we got everything done that we needed.”
The Patriots practiced in shorts two days, added helmets and shoulder pads for two days and then worked out in full football gear one day.
Jenkins, who has led the Patriots’ defense for two years, did not have to put in much work on that side of the football in the spring.
On offense, he said MA will be doing a lot of the same things as in 2011.
“I’m an option guy,” Jenkins said. “We will run a lot more option.
“From a personnel standpoint, we will do what’s best for us. There will be some different formations and different blocking schemes.
“We will be a lot bigger up front. We have a great chance to be very good on the offensive line.”
Last season’s Patriots advanced all the way to the North State championship game and finished 11-2, the third most wins in school history. Gone are 11 seniors.
“We have a good nucleus back,” Coach Jenkins said.
“These kids at Marshall have a lot of pride in being successful. The upcoming seniors are stepping into a leadership role. They’ve already established a goal of winning a district championship.”
Twenty players participated in spring drills. He hopes to have 25 or more when preseason practice begins in two months.
“One area where we will be much improved is our depth,” he said. “We have some ninth graders (moving up to varsity) with the ability to play and guys who didn’t get much playing time last year on the varsity who will certainly have the opportunity to play.”
Jenkins’ summer goals for his team are simple.
“We want to get bigger, faster and stronger,” he said, “and we want to get at least five more kids out for football.”
The Patriots’ opponents in 2012 will be the same as 2011 with one exception. The Marshall-Potts Camp series will not be renewed after just one season.
MA now has two open dates – October 12 and October 19 – and Jenkins and athletic director Susan Rodgers are looking for an additional opponent, in hopes of landing another home game.
The schedule includes – August 17, Magnolia Heights, home; August 24, Tunica Academy, away; August 31, Immanuel Christian, home; September 7, Lee Academy (Clarksdale), away; September 14, Carroll Academy, away; September 21, Indianola Academy, away; September 28, North Delta School, home; October 5, Pillow Academy, away; October 26, Kirk Academy, home.
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