Bishop hoping for more players
Having depth is an important part of football. The Green Forest Tigers started the week with 13 players and had 19 players suit up at Thursday's practice. The Tigers had 32 players participate during spring football, so coach Bobby Bishop hopes to see that number keep rising by the time school starts.
"We have had very low numbers so far, but they are starting to trickle in a little bit," Bishop said. "We expect to have another eight or 10 between now and the first week of school. That's just kind of how it is around here right now. We have guys in different states and different countries. We have to be patient."
Despite the low turnout thus far, Bishop said he has been impressed with what he has seen early on.
"We have about 10 seniors," Bishop said. "Those guys kind of lead the charge. They have been through our system for three years now. We aren't having to do quite as much teaching and one thing about not having a bunch of kids around is these guys get a lot of reps. The ones that have been here are getting better. The ones that aren't here aren't getting better."
Bishop said despite the low numbers, his way of structuring practices hasn't changed.
"We generally try to do our kicking game first," Bishop said. "Whether it's punting the ball, kicking the ball, receiving the ball, snapping the ball. We take about 15 or 20 minutes into that everyday. When we get into offense and defense, we try to give them individual time where they are working on a one-on-one basis. Then we try to give them a period of group time where we have the linemen working together, where you have the linebackers working together and you have the d-backs working together. And then we bring all that together as a team. It's a teaching progression that is very beneficial to kids, especially to the ones who haven't played a whole lot of football. We have a pretty good group of sophomores that are going to play a lot and a couple new kids who haven't played football before, or at least since seventh or eighth grade. It's good for those guys to get that individual time."
Bishop said the one thing he is confident in is the offensive line.
"They catch my eye first because we can go seven guys across the front who are pretty much all seniors," Bishop said. "As a group, I would say they impress me the most because of recall. A couple of those boys have been multiple-year starters. Carter Boggs will be a three-year starter. We have moved him from position to position over those three years, but the way we work it is they all are tackles, guards and centers. Then we can hone in on where they fit our scheme the best."
Bishop added that he has been impressed with what he has seen from the junior high early on.
"From seventh through ninth grade, we have had anywhere from 45 to 50 kids out here," Bishop said. "It's been pretty good and I think we have been pretty productive and gotten a lot done."
Green Forest gets the season kicked off at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, against Yellville-Summit at Tiger Stadium.