At the conclusion of the first High School Football Jamboree on Friday night, the Abilene High School football coaches left Salina with some insight into what needs to be focused on before the start of the season this week.
Abilene head coach Steve Simpson was happy with the format of the Jamboree as it gave his Cowboy squads a semi-live look at game speed action against opponents but in a controlled environment. Abilene ran offensive and defensive sets against Hays High, Salina South and Wichita North at Salina Stadium in what many coaches believe will become an annual pre-season scrimmage.
Simpson was pleased for the most part with the performance of his Cowboy varsity squad.
“We had a lot of kids play a lot of downs,” Simpson said. “We came out of it healthy I think and our first team offensive line has not seen anybody move that fast on the defense across from them. It was really good for us.”
The Cowboys ran three different quarterbacks during the night with senior Jackson Randles starting under center in the first rotation of offensive snaps. Senior Jayshaun Jones and sophomore Kaleb Becker also took reps at the quarterback position. When not at quarterback, the other two athletes are somewhere on the field in the offense, either receiver or running back.
“We saw some good things tonight,” Simpson said. “Playing these guys we saw a lot of things we need to work on this week before we play Clay Center. Some of it was glaring but I was happy with effort of all of our kids right down to all of the freshmen.”
With the varsity, junior varsity and the freshman teams all having their shot at running plays against the three other schools, the coaching staff got to look at a lot of kids.
“We have some things to work on but we found some depth from some kids that we might not have seen in a regular scrimmage,” Simpson said. “Our sophomores held their own in the JV battles tonight. I am happy with all our kids. We have some work to do but we are OK.”
Abilene opens the season this Friday evening by hosting North Central Kansas League foe Clay Center at 7 p.m.