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LUFKIN PANTHER FOOTBALL 2019

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Lufkin ISD will conduct Physicals on Friday for all students in ALL sports and for the first time include our band students, this for all incoming Grades 7-12. There is a $20 fee for physical with the school or the student can supply a physical report from their own doctor. These physicals are good for two years. Please check with your school for more information on time and place.

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FYI some upcoming information.

No mention was made of a replacement for Jason Holman, other than we have some really good guys on staff right now.  Nothing really to read into that statement.  He did not elaborate much other than Holman had told them when he was hired he would be looking for opportunities to move up to a HC job. Quick said they hated to lose him.

Panther Spring football is ongoing.  There will be an extensive scrimmage this Wednesday at Abe Martin at 3 PM.  If it rains they will move into the Pack Indoor Practice .

The Pack Spring game will be tentatively held on Tuesday May 14th starting at 5:30 PM with the JV and the Varsity to follow.  They will play 2 live quarters.  Tentatively means according to the weather forecast it could also be Monday or Wednesday.

There are a couple of starters being held out of workouts,  just bumps and bruises, the coaches not taking chances, when they already know what they can do on the field.  Our other starting safety Tre Odom will join the team this week after playing Panther baseball.   The team has really been getting after it, Coach said they have had some great days of preparation. They are looking at finding a backup to Jordan Moore right now.  He is having an excellent spring.   

Changing the subject a bit, has anyone noticed the size and depth we have on the OL coming in this year and where did all of that skill speed come from?  We have always had one or two really fast and quick guys on offense, but man all of those guys can fly this year.  Okay, I'm through.  Back to the news.

Coach Mentioned the Texas Senate has a BILL on the floor supporting a every 2 year Heart testing for all student athletes, the cost would be $50 per student. WE would try to fund the cost with sponsorships. If and when it passes.

Participation levels right now are 90 on the varsity and 75 incoming freshman who have so far signed up to play.   He did not mention any information about transfers and I didn't think he would at this time.

The Panthers will not host a 7 on 7 State Qualifying Tournament this year, the committee pulled that from Lufkin this year.  Right now, the Pack will participate in The Woodlands SQT on Friday, May 31st and the Tyler Lee SQT on June 15th.  More info on those two the closer we get to those dates.

 

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7 hours ago, Chadalac05 said:

Any word on why they pulled 7 on 7?

None. Just think they wanted to give some other places a chance. We've had one here for the last 7 or 8 years, probably more like 15 years.

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Forgot to mention that they will start turning dirt the 1st of June on the new Multi Purpose Gym and new ball fields at Lufkin High. Exiting times to begin.

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Was killing time the other day just looking at any video to be found of us playing the past 2 or 3 years.  The one thing that jumped out to me was how many of those teams we play run diversified offenses.  Now I am not saying anything to prove anything here.  Just an observation, because we defeated many of those teams that were multifaceted with their offense.  When I say multifaceted, I mean they ran their basic offense but were able to run one or two plays out of the Wing T,  Wishbone,  5 wide,  4- wide, even using different formations of the gun and out of the pistol. Even running  the  Power I..... don't how many variations exactly. Some worked and some did not, but the ones involving the TE had a higher rate of success against us.  Some of the motion shuffling I could not identify exactly, it's been awhile since I played, probably some hybrid concoction by the OC for use in a special situation.  Lufkin runs and throws from the gun, they run two back, pistol, 3 wide, 4 wide, option, even a jumbo package inside the ten, all from the gun.  They also do wildcat from time to time. Not much under center , but they do use it in special situations.

Anyway, my point is I guess it is good to be diversified in that way and I suspect the playbook is not very deep with each of the different offenses those teams employ.  On the other hand, I guess the old saying is, be very good at what you do do, whether it is a basic offense or multiple offenses someone is running.  Plus there is a lot more for the players to learn running several types of offensive sets, , then again,  running multiple offenses gives the opposing defense more homework and preparation to do.  

I am one of those guys that says whatever offense your running and your averaging 40 PPG and 450 YPG , then stick with it.  What works for some, may not work well for others.  Another old saying,  Keep it Simple and DO IT WELL!

 

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18 hours ago, FHL777 said:

Coach Lance Gamble has been promoted to D coordinator and Coach Ryan Sodaquist will be coaching special teams.

Thank you for the info.  Very good move.  Excellent.

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I figured we would promote someone. It’s Kinda too late to hire someone from the outside and bring in a good coach. Then again....Tatum did it. 

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Lance Gamble was HC and AD at 2A Beckville ISD in 2014 and 2015.  His record there was 16-6 in two years ( 5-4 and 11-2) , one of those wins was 49-20 over a #5 ranked undefeated Alto team in the 2nd round of the 2015 playoffs. (Beckville is 3A Div II today)  Gamble was voted Co - Coach of the Year in District 10-2A Division I , along with Jason Ferguson from Shelbyville who was 12-1 in 2015. Gamble left Beckville and joined Jason Ferguson in Shelbyville in 2016 and halfway into the season at 0-5, Jason Ferguson stepped down as coach and Gamble was inserted as Interim HC,  he was 2-3 the rest of the season.  He came to Lufkin in 2017 as an assistant coach.  His father is Lucky Gamble from Alto who is 17th all-time in football victories in the state of Texas with a record of 270-76-5 in 29 years as a head coach.  His brother Brian Gamble is LB Coach at Louisiana Tech and played LB at A&M.

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The team has had two very good work outs the past two days.  Lots of things being worked on in all phases of the game.   Next Tuesday will be the Spring game and it will be interesting to see what some of you may think.  It is really hard to judge much with an intra squad game.  We have some nice talent and still have things to work on and positions to fill going into August workouts.  Glad it is the coaches and not me putting all the puzzle pieces together.  IMO, I think the team looks pretty good.

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Hopefully , The Lufkin Daily  News will have some sort of write up Sunday about the Panther spring practice progress and a preview of the Spring game on Tuesday.  So far, their information has been sparse , except  for the article and interview to announce the start of Spring football, really nothing.

 

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Just from my amateur evaluation and limited to about 4 practice viewings,  I like the group we have coming back this year, especially the ones with that 1 or 2 years of playing varsity ball under their belt.  Good core group to work and build the 2019 team around.  

Have not talked about special teams much and hope I have the correct name here, but it looks like #4 Kaleb Encarnacion will be one of our kickers and maybe the starter.  He has done well and has a big leg .  Do not know the name of the other kicker who wears #31.  Both can reach the end zone on KOs,  have equal accuracy on 35-40 yard FGs and X Pts.  Better than average punting.   Think we are in good hands in that area.

The Pack kids are talented and  strong with depth in most positions.  The defensive line needs to come together and develop some depth and the need to find a very dependable back up QB.  Those are the only two things that I see needs to be developed between now and August.   They are using a 6 or 7 player rotation on the D Line in practice and they look very good .   Just need experience and chemistry in the rotation by next August.   

This group has some really nice added speed this year and can't wait to see how they use it come next season.  The kids had a really good track season too and that will pay off come game time in the fall.

Jordan Moore looks very good, he is a little bigger and taller than last year.  Someone at practice who know him said he was 6'3" and almost 200 lbs.  You can't really tell by looking, but he is as tall as Ja Lynn Polk  and I know he is 6'3" tall.  Jordan still looks pretty fast running the ball .   He throws that deep ball so much better than Kewone  and he gets the ball out quick, which I like to see in a QB.   Moore is just a junior, so there is still lots of room for growth and maturity.

Can't say enough about how big the O Line is this year across the board, I would have never imaged it after last year. Depth too.  Those JV move ups are all around 6'3" to 6'5" 290-300 lbs + each.   Even the Varsity guys from last year got bigger in the off season.  One of those guys looks like he is 6'4" and 350 lbs. He was a backup last year.

Noticed they moved up some,  sophomores to be,  to the varsity this week.  Trying them out to see what they can do against the seasoned guys.

Just like watching how the coaches put everything together, trying to find that finished product moving forward.

 

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If i remember correctly there are three kickers listed on the spring roster. Kaleb, Alberto Medina and Erick Aguilar. Not sure who’s number 31. Brendan Taylor the running back was listed with that number. Fish Kevin Johnson is listed as the backup Qb. And the Diaz Brother’s that came from Nac are listed on there as well. Both are talented from what I’ve heard. Looking forward to seeing the game on Tuesday. Hopefully it doesn’t rain. 

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Thank you to Pack007 sending the

2019 Lufkin Spring Roster. 

Tried to clear it up a bit to no avail.

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Wanted to add another thought about  our offense . We are running the basic sets we always do. We are not multi dimensional with what we do, like other teams we play. We really don't use true play action, we don't incorporate a TE or a legit FB.  Just variations of the spread gun.  Anyway, always wondered why we have never incorporated a little more into our offensive scheme.

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TE can be a big weapon  that we have not used for years. 

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We beg for the same stuff every year on here it seems from green. It is what it is at this point. He loves running that basic spread. Don’t understand it but done hoping he opens the playbook up more. I truly believe he cares for the players. Just stuck in his ways. I think he has a mindset similar to many coaches from the past that run the same five to ten plays, regardless if the defense knows what’s coming, because i guess they believe it’s all about the execution of the players on offense. The talent level for the Pack help out with that too. Just believe it’s nothing wrong with opening up the playbook and making it more difficult for teams to stop you, when you do have the Dez Bryant, Keke Coutee, Malik Jackson, Jabryce Taylor and Jalynn Polk types on offense. 

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Im not really sure why we don’t incorporate a TE or FB. You can still be spread type team with those positions. It tends to be very affective. I like what Jimbo did with this years A&M offense. They would spread it out but would also run 2 back sets with a tight end. Id like to see Te, FB

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To be the devils advocate for the fun of it.  In Green's defense, he says, well we have been averaging 35-40 PPG and 400 YPG for several seasons. If it ain't broke, why fix it?    Most coaches do believe that if you execute your plays well according to game play, you will be successful.  Now, you may not have the better players, but execution has kept many a average team in a game against better talent.

Coach Bear Bryant of former HC at Texas A&M and Alabama said this and it is as true today as 25 years ago when he spoke the words.

“My approach to the game has been the same at all the places I’ve been. Vanilla. The sure way. That means, first of all, to win physically. If you got eleven on a field, and they beat the other eleven physically, they’ll win. They will start forcing mistakes. They’ll win in the fourth quarter.”

Who does that sound like to you today?  We play them every year and they beat us in the 4th quarter every time.

It would be interesting if the Panthers would run a few more formations, but maybe keeping it basic it most likely results in fewer errors being committed on our part and if your not winning the physical part of the battle anyway, I guess it really doesn't matter if you can run 5 different offenses.

The one thing I do agree with you guys on is incorporating a TE or two TEs into the spread we now run.  That not only gives you a different look, it is also extra blocking and another RPO for your QB.    

I just mentioned it in this topic because we play lots of folks today that do run a few different plays out of different offensive sets.  Of course, they probably can only running 2 or 3 plays of those different offenses, not the whole playbook.  So those teams may not be as diverse as we think,  these are just HS kids, so it's doesn't need to be too complicated.  Every team still has their base offense they will run  85% of the time.  There are lots of teams only run 6 or 7 plays and are successful doing so, because they can do 3 or 4 things different out of each of those plays and do them well.

The old adage says :  Mastering one thing is better than being average at many things

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51 minutes ago, Hitman2 said:

Just wondering who will coach the RBs this year since Guz is moving to tennis!???

Thank You for the update.  Whoever takes that role needs to be good because Guzman is and has been an outstanding RBs coach for many years with the Pack.  First news I have heard he was moving to tennis.   They most likely already have someone on staff to step in and if not, I am sure there are some very good choices around that would love to come coach in Lufkin.   What's Jorvorskie doing these days?     

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Lufkin Spring Game is Tuesday

 

An eventful month of practice will wrap up for the Lufkin Panthers as they host their annual spring game on John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium on Tuesday night.

After last season’s 10-win season that saw Lufkin bring home a district title, the Panthers have been hard at work since taking the field for spring practices on March 22.

Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said the intensity has been where it needs to be with Lufkin returning several key starters while also looking to replace an outstanding senior class.

“Several of the kids have stepped up and taken over for some of the top-line guys that we lost to graduation,” Quick said. “With the way they work now, there really isn’t an offseason. If they’re not out here playing basketball or baseball, they go into the weight room and to the track right after the season is over. Getting out here for the spring is still something special for them though.”

While Lufkin is replacing several starters, including possibly the best defensive line in the state, the Panthers are also looking to replace defensive coordinator Jason Holman.

This past week, Holman accepted the head coach and athletic director position at Tatum High School.

Quick praised the work of Holman and said he is well deserving of becoming a head coach.

“He’s been ready to become a head coach for a long time,” Quick said. “He just hadn’t had the right opportunity. They contacted him about this in March, and he didn’t hear back for awhile. Then things sped up and he was the head coach by the end of the weekend. I’m happy for him and his family.”

Lufkin made a few temporary adjustments to its coaching staff in closing out the remainder of spring practice.

They’ll look to make the permanent hires within the next few weeks.

“We had good people in place to finish the rest of spring ball,” Quick said. “We won’t take long to make a decision. It’s late in the year, but we’re going to make it as easy of a transition as we can for the kids.

“We like what we’ve done on defense and we like the results. We’re going to find a 3-4 guy that knows our system and knows the terminology or can adjust to it pretty quickly. We don’t want to change everything for the kids at this point.”

The Panthers have had several reasons for optimism throughout spring practice. Jordan Moore, who started five games as a starter has been the leader at quarterback through the season.

Zykee Allen, who was a defensive lineman, has made the transition to the offensive line this season where he has been one of the impactful players in the spring.

“At quarterback, Jordan is in front right now and he’s had a really good spring,” Quick said.

“(Allen) has really blossomed and we’re pleased with that switch. He was at the nose last year, but he’s stepped in at the right guard spot.”

Tuesday’s scrimmage will start with the JV scrimmaging at 5 p.m. The varsity will follow at 6 p.m. There will be two live quarters of action followed by a halftime. Lufkin’s starters will each play a series in the third quarter before the reserves round up the scrimmage.

Admission to the scrimmage is free.

“We’re going to bang on each other and they’ll be out there talking a little bit,” Quick said. “When you go against good people, it’s going to make you better football players. If you aren’t ready to go, you’re going to embarrass yourself.”

Following Tuesday’s scrimmage, the Panthers will go into their offseason program. Workouts for the season will begin on Aug. 5 for the freshmen and Aug. 12 for the rest of the team.

The Panthers will open the season on Aug. 30 when they host defending Class 6A Division II champion Longview.

Josh Havard’s email address is josh.havard@lufkindailynews.com.

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