Carlisle’s Bison were “chomping at the bit” for a chance to put on the pads last week, and coach Jack Keith was rewarded afterward.
“They flew around, got a lot of quality reps and got better every day,” Keith, the first-year head coach, said Sunday night.
The Bison started classes Monday, and Keith said they would spend the week trying to get into a typical fall routine.
“We don’t have anybody to game-plan against for Friday, so it will be kind of a mix between a normal week and summer practice, sort of a transition week,” Keith said.
The Bison will play host to Dumas, Stuttgart and Rison for a jamboree scrimmage on Tuesday, Aug. 26. Two teams will face off on one 40 with two more heading in from the other 40 simultaneously.
“We’ll have a 20-minute running clock and do a live scrimmage from the 40 in,” Keith said. “We won’t have any special teams, just driving in from the 40.”
The junior high teams will start at 5:30 p.m. with the high schools to follow about 7 p.m. The $5 admission fee will benefit the Arkansas Activities Association’s catastrophic insurance program.
Keith said the Bison had some specific goals for the scrimmage.
“First, we want to see how we compete,” he said. “Dumas and Stuttgart are (Class) 4A and Rison is (Class) 2A, so we’ll be playing up, for the most part. We don’t want any mental errors. We want to be sharp on offense and defense, make sure we line up right on offense and that we’re flying around on defense. And we want to check on our conditioning.”
The coach praised the preseason work of returning quarterback Chase Brazeal.
“He has done a real good job of taking charge of the offense and running it,” he said.
A pleasant surprise has been the play of senior Cole Sheets behind Brazeal.
“He hasn’t played in the last couple of years, but he’s done a good job jumping in and being able to fill that backup spot,” Keith said. “That’s something we were kind of worried about. We didn’t have a backup quarterback. I’m real proud to see that he’s got going the way he did.”
Sheets didn’t go through spring drills but has been with the team since summer workouts.
“We weren’t banking on him at all, so that’s filled a need,” Keith said.
Defensively, the coach praised the early play of junior middle linebacker Clay Parker and senior linebacker/receiver Nick Schafer.
“Clay played some last year but has done a great job of stepping up and having real good practices and being a good leader,” Keith said. “Nick had a real good week last week at both linebacker and receiver.”
Carlisle will play host to England to kick off the season Sept. 5.