On the coolest practice day this week, the cream started to rise to the top for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats.
The football faithful were met at 8 a.m. by 67 degree temperatures and cloudless skies as they took the field on a sun-splashed Wednesday.
Coaches were reporting that some players were starting to separate themselves from the pack with talent drawing praise.
Offensive coordinator Matt Young said players he had noticed were receivers Bubba Hall and Dillon Carpenter along with offensive lineman Isaac Perez.
Former Wildcat defender, Johnny McSheffery, is in his first year as varsity football assistant. McSheffery said Zach Spigner was looking good as he returns to running back. The coach also pointed out Jaylon Hawkins, Scott Galarza, Tyler Rosamond and Jesse Ortiz.
“Hawkins is smooth, he is getting better each day,” McSheffery said. “Spigner is running well. We have some talent. I think they will be running behind one of the best offensive lines in the state.”
Safeties coach Kurt McCain said Melroy Givens is one of the defensive players who has come a long way in practice.
“We are kind of thin in this position,” McCain said. “But the good news is, the ones we have can really play. When we get Larry Pryor from offense, he does what he does well. It’s good to have his leadership back there with the younger guys. Tanner Ramirez and Hall are learning the position. We have several kids who play both ways.”
Defensive coordinator Triston Abron said he has been impressed with the work done by California move-in Christian Jackson.
“Jackson is at linebacker and hasn’t played football in a while, but he’s making big hits, causing turnovers,” Abron said. “He caused two or three turnovers yesterday. He’s around the ball and is getting better. He’s a raw talent, but is taking to the teaching.”
Abron smiled and shook his head, “Cain Cody is a force up on the defensive line. He is ready to play and getting the job done. He’s awesome and when he figures it all out, he will make some things happen.”
Abron also listed Carson Hicks, Derrick Weeks, Israel Moreno and Bryton Wood as players who have been standing out.
“We have a good rotation of defensive players,” Abron said. “I am pleased with their play. They are getting more physical every day and I like that.”
Abron said, “Givens has been impressive too. He’s done a great job and is so much more competitive. I want to see that on Friday. I want to see how these guys play when we go up against a different team. Right now, I am very pleased with the start we’ve gotten.”
Head football coach Greg Owens echoed some of the remarks made by other coaches.
“I think Spigner is looking good at both linebacker and running back,” Owens said. “He’s quick, he’s a threat and he’s savvy about the game.”
“The offensive line has Seth Harred and Austan Davis are back from knee injury,” Abron said. “They are improving and making good progress. I also have noticed Perez, Spencer Bramlett, Cody are all doing well.”
The team went through 7-on-7 drills at 8:32 a.m. Wednesday.
Quarterback Larry Pryor threw to Ben Brooks and Carpenter for short gains. C.J. Stephens made a juggling catch in traffic. Quarterback Drew McCullough had nice completions to Parker Aguilar and Tanner Graham.
In a team drill, Pryor threw to Hawkins out of the backfield for a big gain. A screen pass to Stephens picked up yardage.
The practice Tuesday was the last morning workout for team this week. The Wildcats have been working outside from 8-10:30 a.m. each day. Then go the multi-purpose facility to work on special teams, lift weights and watch video.
They will work out 4-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday be in scrimmage action in Texarkana against Liberty-Eylau. The game will be played at Harris Field.
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