Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rocky Bayou Christian Football

Spring football: Knights enter 2nd year much further along
May 4, 2009 - 11:01 PM

Northwest Florida Daily News

NICEVILLE - Last year at this time, the Rocky Bayou Christian football team was attempting to lay the groundwork for its own tradition as a first-year program and was dealing with all the accompanying growing pains.

The scene this year couldn't be more different.

As the Knights go through spring practice this year in preparation for their second season as a program, there will be a lot more in the way of intricate play installations and a lot less of the tedious football basics that the team had to slog through last year.

"We've got better size than last year, we've got better speed than last year, we're stronger - we've been in the weight room for a year - and a lot better prepared," Rocky Bayou coach John Reaves said. "We've got most of our guys coming back, so we're going to be a little more prepared this year for what we're getting into than we were last year."

Reaves can't help but be excited for what he sees as an improved squad in 2009. The Knights surprised some by winning three games and took huge strides toward building for the future, especially considering the fact that the team was still learning three-point stances at this point last year. Currently, the Knights are gearing up for their spring game at 7 p.m. on May 21 against Franklin County in Destin.

The Knights can now comfortably run 40 formations out of Reaves' single-wing offense, which is famous in coaching circles for eliminating the traditional quarterback position. Instead, Reaves relies heavily on his stable of four wing backs to run the offense, not unlike the "Wildcat" formation popularized by Arkansas and, more recently, the Miami Dolphins.

Instead of running it every once in a while, though, the Knights do it virtually every down.

"I like it, it's cool," wingback/kick returner Dion Wright said. "The first time I heard it though, I was like, ‘No quarterback?' It's old school, but it's cool, I like it."

Wright will anchor an offense that Reaves plans to base around misdirection and athleticism. Wright rushed for almost 600 yards as a junior last year, became a deadly threat on kick returns and even threw a touchdown pass. Meanwhile, the anchor for the team's rebuilt offensive line will be 6-foot-3, 305-pound offensive tackle Shawn Josey, a Crestview transfer who Reaves termed a "big asset."

"Where are we in comparison to last year?" Reaves asked "We're light years ahead."

No comments: