Offense Looking Good for Elysian Fields During Two-A-Days
Elysian Fields opened fall practice with something every other East Texas team would have loved to have: 20 returning starters.
Coach Eric King said the Yellow Jackets, who scrimmage Tyler Grace Community and Frankston at 5 p.m. Friday at Grace, are fortunate to have so much experience back for what could be a big 2012 season for Elysian Fields.
"Those 20 starters, it's the third year for some of them," King said. "We're not a perfect team. We have some issues here and there and some of them are nicked up. But (the experience) does ease things. They know the terminology and they know the coaches. We're blessed to have this situation. They know what to expect and what we're trying to do."
King said among all those returning veterans, the skill positions have stood out during two-a-days. Trevor Spear (5-10, 175) is back after throwing for almost 1,400 yards, while receivers Nathan Hall (5-10, 180), Christian Smith (6-1, 185), and Zane Barge (5-9, 170) combined for about 2,000 total yards. Then there's Tanner Davis (5-10, 180) and Colby Simmons (5-10, 190), who combined for more than 1,100 rushing yards as sophomores in 2011.
King has high hopes for the Jacket offense.
"We need to have some tweaks here and there, but our offense has been pretty steady. The skill positions are really good. The quarterback has looked excellent," King said. "This isn't me beating my chest by any means or anything like that, but I think we're capable of having the best offense in our district. We're just blessed with those kids who have been around a long time."
But offense isn't everything for Elysian Fields. All-state defensive lineman Bruce Woods (5-10, 180), a man who plays much larger than his size. Don't be surprised to see King take advantage of Woods' versatility.
"We move him around a lot," King said. "He does a lot of good things. It's hard to leave him in one spot. He can play down, he can play up, he can play inside, he can play outside. He's not our biggest kid, but he takes pride in playing defense. He loves it."
Woods posted staggering numbers last season with 115 tackles, 26 for loss, and 15 sacks. Woods is one of a half dozen returning defenders who had at least 40 tackles a season ago. That list includes linebacker Tanner Norman (5-10, 185), who had 70 stops, and defensive end Clay Vance (6-0, 200), who had 60 tackles.
King said Friday's jamboree-style scrimmages with Frankston and Tyler Grace will give Elysian Fields the opportunity to see play against different offenses from what the Jackets are accustomed to, especially Grace's.
"We see slot T and I and wing T, but not much spread," King said.