Spring Football: Wasson Remains Confident
Head Coach Hal Wasson addresses his players during the 2017 Green-Wite Spring Game on May 18, at Dragon Stadium.
Gallery: 2017 Green-White Spring Game at Dragon Stadium [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
by EJ Holland
Dragon pride is in the air.
While the 2017-18 football season is still a few months away, Southlake Carroll fans got a sneak peak at the Dragons at their annual spring game this week.
Southlake Carroll lost a number of key starters from last year’s squad, but the team showed potential on both sides of the ball.
“Our rallying cry throughout the spring has been we have to get more consistent,” said head coach Hal Wasson. “I think that was apparent in some areas. We have lot of new faces. I’m very confident that we will keep getting stronger and continue the journey throughout the summer.
“I think the defense flew around tonight. The offense did some things well, and we protected the football. We just have to keep getting better.”
One of the biggest questions entering spring was at quarterback.
The Dragons have a tradition of excellence at the position and have produced a number of college level signal-callers. Two-year starter Mason Holmes was lost to graduation, which means there will be a battle under center.
The competition is open, but junior Will Bowers appears to have separated himself from the pack this spring.
“It’s no secret that if we were playing tomorrow, Will Bowers would be our guy because he’s familiar with the offense,” Wasson said. “With that being said, the younger guys haven’t had the same reps.”
Southlake Carroll will also need some of its skill position players to step up during the summer. Senior wide receiver Cade Bell had a solid spring and figures to be one of Bowers’ go-to weapons.
Despite the loss of key linemen Carson Green to Texas A&M, and Ryan Miller and Henry Klinge to Baylor, the offensive line should be a strength with Jackson Kimball and Matt Leehan leading the way.
The Dragons will be young defensively. Only four starters return and familiar faces like Oklahoma signee Robert Barnes are off to the next level.
“I think we’ve shown to be a physical defense,” Wasson said. “That’s impressed me. But we’re going to have to be great technique guys and play very hard because we are very much undersized up front.”
As Wasson mentioned, the defensive line is a work in progress. The linebacker group should be solid with Jacob Doddridge back in action, and the secondary has some playmakers like RJ Mickens, who led the team in interceptions as a freshman.
Overall, Wasson is excited about the upcoming season and believes his team’s strong spring will pay dividends down the line.
“We keep coming back to the word consistency, but that’s where we are,” Wasson said. ”But I always feel good about our Dragons. I love our players and the way they work. We have a lot of new guys, but I’m always confident.”
Players to Watch in 2017:
Southlake Carroll wrapped up its annual spring game this week and a number of players impressed.
The Dragons will be young this year and need both its underclassmen and senior leaders to step up in a big way.
Here is a look at the top performers from the aforementioned spring game.
DB/WR RJ Mickens — The super sophomore played a little bit of everything in the secondary. Mickens didn’t allow any catches and was an intimidating presence on the back end. After a breakout freshman season, Mickens should be one of the top defensive backs in the state this year. He also saw time at wide receiver and scored a touchdown.
LB Jacob Doddridge — Doddridge played down on the defense line last year, but he has moved to linebacker full-time. And that’s a great fit for him. His size and athleticism makes him a force to be reckoned with. Doddridge was also part of the offensive game plan as he lined up in the backfield. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him play tight end. Most colleges are recruiting him as an H-Back.
QB Will Bowers — As head coach Hal Wasson mentioned, the quarterback battle is ongoing, but Bowers has the advantage heading into fall. The junior was accurate and made some tight throws. He is familiar with the offense and didn’t struggle moving the offense downfield. He still has some work to do in various areas, but Bowers certainly has a high ceiling.