The Carlisle Bison football team recently finished spring practice under new coach Brandon Barbaree.
“I thought things went well, especially with the transition with new coaches,” Barbaree said Tuesday. “Other than myself, it is a whole new staff. The two guys we’ve hired came in and did a good job. The kids worked well with them. I think the kids had a good transition with the change.”
Barbaree is replacing Scott Waymire, who resigned after seven seasons to take the job at Class 4A Trumann. Barbaree, who previously was the head coach at Drew Central and England, was Waymire’s top assistant a year ago. Assistants Mike Smith and Adam Leatherwood left for bigger schools.
Barbaree has brought in Jack Keith to be the defensive coordinator. He was an assistant at Warren a year ago. Also hired was Blake Dorsey, who is originally from England and just graduated from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
Barbaree said another assistant should be hired soon.
A year ago, the Bison finished 10-2, losing to Mineral Springs in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A state playoffs. Carlisle also tied Hazen for the 2A-6 conference title, which was the Bison’s third consecutive championship.
Barbaree said he was trying to get his players back into “football mode.”
“We’re trying to get them used to practicing and the way we were going to practice,” he said. “We’re going to do a lot of the same stuff. It wasn’t really learning a lot. It more just getting them back in that mode of how we do things and going back through the transition to football.”
The Bison had 35 players during spring ball.
“The ninth grade class moving up isn’t big … they are a good class, just not big [in numbers],” Barbaree said. “It’s good numbers  for our level to have the chance to compete with anybody in 2A.”
The Bison are working out every morning from 7:30 to 9 o’clock. Every Monday, they are playing 7-on-7 at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock.
The Bison are also participating in three team camps — Friday at Stuttgart, next week at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and will host one in July.
The Bison open the season Sept. 6 at home against McCrory. Other home games include Osceola on Sept. 20, Clarendon on Oct. 4, Brinkley on Oct. 11, Marvell on Oct. 25 and Des Arc on Nov. 1.