Sterlington Panthers Spring Football Report
Breaking spring camp on Thursday, May 15, Sterlington and Caldwell played to a 12-12 draw in a 20-minute game at the Panthers' Den.
With a sizable group of veterans absent for a majority of the camp due to the baseball playoffs and state track meet, next year's freshmen and sophomores were given extra reps.
“We only had two days with our baseball and track kids, which kind of played into our hands this year,” coach Jason Thompson said. “We were able to get in a lot of good work for seven or eight days with our young kids.”
Thompson liked what he saw from the underclassmen.
“They're not scared to compete and they're not scared of contact,” Thompson said. “In that sense, it was good that we got a lot of work in with our young guys.”
Just who and where they will fit in remains to be seen, but the Panthers are counting on the freshmen and sophomores to contribute in the upcoming season.
“In general, we have some young kids — freshmen-to-be and sophomores-to-be — who are going to have to play on Friday night,” Thompson said. “I think, in time, once they adjust to the speed of the game, they will settle in and be good players for us.”
Senior wide receiver Cason Handy, sophomore tailback DeVante Douglas and junior fullback Kerry Burks received high marks from the coaching staff for their spring work on the offensive side.
Handy appears to have made a full recovery after suffering a broken leg in a Week 3 junior varsity game.
“Cason had a real good spring and a real good scrimmage,” Thompson said. “He did a great job for us at the wide receiver position. We're excited about his progress.
“Kerry Burks and DeVante Douglas — both of those guys had good springs. They still have a ways to go, but they give us a lot to work with.”
Lack of experience is a concern on the offensive line. With senior Dylan Moore missing camp with a broken hand, the Panthers went into the spring game with five first-year starters.
“We need our offensive line to progress after losing four seniors,” Thompson said. “Dillon Moore is the only one we have coming back and we didn't get to see him in the spring. We had to move some defensive kids to the offensive line and we have some young kids who need to continue to progress.
“If there is one unit that we have an eye on more than any other, it's the offensive line.”
On the defensive side, sophomore Semaj Colvin and juniors Luke Temple and Jaylan King made an impact despite limited practice time.
“Semaj and Luke are two guys that have played in the secondary that we're moving to inside linebacker,” Thompson said. “We only had them for two days, but I think they will be good players for us, once they learn their positions.
“Jaylan's another one that we only had for two days, but I think he's going to be a playmaker at cornerback.”
Seeing action on both sides of the ball during the timed segment of the scrimmage, King caught a 19-yard pass to help set up the Panthers' first score and had a 48-yard touchdown run off a reverse negated by an illegal block. Defensively, he intercepted a pass on the final play of the game.
Douglas scored on a 15-yard run to tie the game at 6-6 and Devon Murphy's 70-yard pass to Antonio Gray with just over two minutes remaining squared the score at 12.
Sam Lowery stuffed a reverse for a 2-yard loss on Caldwell's first offensive play and Cedric Dyer made a stop in the backfield later in the day to lead the Panthers defensively.
Burks broke off a 30-yard run which led to Murphy's 17-yard TD run during the controlled portion of the scrimmage.
Colvin (interception) and Temple (fumble recovery) were responsible for turnovers to highlight the Panthers' defensive effort during the controlled segment.
SUMMER WORKOUTS: Returning from a two-week break, the Panthers will begin their summer lifting and condition program on Monday, June 2.
Throughout the eight-week summer program, the Panthers will work out Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Freshmen are to report at 8 a.m., with the sophomores, juniors and seniors reporting at 9:30.
“We'll have 24 workouts,” Thompson said. “We ask them to make 21.”
SKEET SHOOT: The second annual Panther Shootout is scheduled for Saturday, May 31 at Wild Wings Sporting in Clays in Downsville.
Entry fee is $625 per five-person team or $125 per individual.
Corporate event sponsorships are available for $2,500 per team, along with corporate sponsorships for $750 per team and station sponsorships for $250 per team.
Entry fees may be mailed to the SHS Quarterback Club, P.O. Box 1304, Sterlington, LA 71289. (Checks should be made out to the SHS Quarterback Club).
Any questions regarding the event may be directed to 318.366.4166.