GF hoping to start season with win
When Green Forest takes the field against Huntsville on Friday night at Tiger Stadium to kick off the regular season, coach Bobby Bishop will recognize a lot of faces, but things have changed since he left in the spring of 2015.
"Huntsville has gone to a spread offense," Bishop said. "They are in shotgun all the time, or showed that in their scrimmage against Ozark anyway. I know some of the kids from when I was coaching junior high over there and there are some explosive football players on that squad."
Some of the players whom Bishop referenced include quarterback Sean McCone and running backs Cyrus Crow and Blake Whittington.
"They are kids that, if you give them an opportunity, they are going to take it to the house on you," Bishop said. "We are going to have to keep those kids corralled and try our best not to give up big plays."
Bishop hopes Green Forest's change in defense will help prevent Huntsville from getting those big plays.
"We are going to deploy our 4-2-5 defense," Bishop said. "This is one of the reasons we went to this kind of system. Changed it up a little bit from last year when we had coach (Tyler) Harness come in. It's a little bit different look as far as different responsibilities as far as positions on the field. The move to that defense for us, we are training our kids to be better in space. Are we there yet? We really don't know because we haven't played a game yet."
Offensively, Bishop said it will be important for the Tigers to hold onto the football, something he is confident they will be able to do.
"So far ball security has been good," Bishop said. "Coach (Brandon) Stone has done a heck of a good job with them. He drills those kids hard and we preach ball security, keeping the ball high and tight, the way we want it to be. Sometimes we get a little lazy and a little bit sloppy, but we felt good about our scrimmage last week. We didn't have any turnovers at the scrimmage last week. I talked to the kids this morning about how important it was for us to keep the ball in our possession. They are going to take hits, but they have to hang onto the football."
Bishop said getting a win against a quality Class 4A school would be a great way to start the year for the Tigers.
"It could be really positive in that it would give us a little confidence," Bishop said. "We have a lot of kids who are inexperienced at the high school level and if we could get an early win in our first game against a worthy 4A opponent, I think that would be big for our kids, big for our season and big for our program as well."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.