By Bobbie Brown
This time of year makes me incredibly happy. More so this year than any other! I pulled into Silverton and noticed right away two things: very green grass on the football field and a really nice concession stand. Although I was early, cars were steadily pulling into the stadium. I think we were all just a little excited to see Silverton, Crowell, and Springlake-Earth take the field to scrimmage. I couldn’t stop smiling!
I wandered out to the north end of the field to get ready for some good action shots. Silverton and Crowell were already warming up. Coach Parham on one end and first-year head coach, Mitchell Parsley, on the other end. Without much ado, they got right to it!
I got the chance to talk to Coach Parham for a short minute. I noticed two very tall players for the Owls. One is a 6’2 freshman and the other is a 6’4 sophomore. They also had a shorter player (number 8) who did really well running the ball for the Owls. I didn’t get his name, but you can bet I will the next time. He wore glasses beneath his helmet and never stopped. He was always moving. The Owls moved well together and focused on wrapping up on defense. They were really good about tightening around the defenders legs. That came as a surprise because I don’t normally see very good wrap ups in a scrimmage. That is usually perfected during the season – if at all! Silverton looks to be on the right track. They will face Groom, Hart, and newcomer Wildorado in Division II, District 2 this year. Although they are young, they worked well together.
The Crowell Wildcats are coached this year by outstanding alumnus Mitchell Parsley. He was all business! I did not get to talk to Coach Parsley, but there were several things I noticed about the Wildcats right away. They are big and they have some speed. Jamaal Lane returns for the Wildcats. He had some breakout runs into the end zone several times. Once he jukes and gets past defenders, it’s very hard to catch him. Harold Chapman also stood out. He rambled for a good number of yards. I have to mention Harold’s brother, Freddie. Sometimes I hear really funny things on the sidelines, and he was the subject of one such thing. Freddie plays on JV and got free for a long run into the end zone. As he was galloping down the field, I swear I heard someone yell, “Go get em, Cheeseburger!” As his run was the only thing happening at that time, I have to assume Freddie is Cheeseburger. I guess someone from Crowell will have to let me know on that one! Coach Parsley wasn’t the only one on the Crowell end of the field that was all business. His Wildcats were serious and focused during the scrimmage. You could tell they were listening to every word from the two coaches. The Wildcats also wrapped up nicely. I spotted the coaches actively showing the Wildcats this maneuver during the scrimmage. They took it to heart. Crowell is in a tough Division I district this year with Knox City, Spur, Northside, and Paducah. While they are a young team, I think they will make some noise if they stay focused. Crowell is on track to make a run in the coming years.
And now to the newcomers of six-man, the Springlake-Earth Wolverines. Coach Ethridge (Leakey) & Coach Baker (Baird) made the move to S-E. Two things are interesting about this team: Both took an 11-man Baird team and made them into a six-man team. And they are doing it again this year! Braxton Ethridge played on a Leakey team that went from 11-man to six-man his freshman year. Braxton is now a Wolverine and doing it again. On the way to Silverton, I thought about the excellent basketball season Springlake-Earth had two years ago. Two players on that team stood out. They were so athletic and just outstanding players! I really thought they were seniors. After a peek at the roster, I was shocked! Both were freshmen! I couldn’t help wondering if they would participate in football as they were both pretty fast and wiley on the court – sometimes that translates well to six-man football. Sometimes it doesn’t. Because I’m older and have a horrible time remembering names, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of those two excellent players. I’m pretty sure I picked them out on the field – again, S-E fans will need to correct me if I’m wrong. Both stood out. Keshan Holmes and Wolverine #1 (yes, I need to get his name). For their first outing, the Wolverines did very well! They didn’t seem to have the growing pains of past newcomers I’ve watched right out of the gate. Ethridge definitely helped with that. He comes from excellent six-man lineage, and he is a definite leader on that team. The Wolverines will improve a lot under Deleon, Ethridge, and Baker and will face Kress, Lorenzo, Nazareth, and Petersburg in Division I District 2 this year. Just because they are new to six-man means absolutely nothing. If Keshan figures out how powerful he can be on a shorter field, it may be all over in District 2. Many very good players for the Wolverines this year. Watch out. They are coming!
Scrimmages provide a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get back in the swing of things before games officially start. It is no different for me and the rest of the Texas 1A Fan team. The time before games start gives me a chance to warm up the old camera and talk to coaches. I see now that I’m going to have to work on remembering names. We all have something to work on. Silverton, Crowell, and Springlake-Earth are definitely headed in the right direction. We all came away with things to work on before next week. Week 1. First game of 2020. I cannot wait as it is so awesome seeing kids playing the game they love. It oozed out of them during the scrimmage. And that is what it’s all about.
I’m ready for Week 1. Are you? While we’re all waiting impatiently, always remember… go forward and do GOOD!
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