Rebels focus on physicality

Published 9:08 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Zion Chapel had their spring come to a close last Friday night in a game against the Ariton Purple Cats. Even the Rebels fell to Ariton 35-20. The Rebels feel like it was a productive game and spring.

Spring game results rarely mean much to head coaches and it was no different for Rebel head coach Randy Bryant.

“The result on the scoreboard isn’t what we wanted, but Ariton has a great team,” Bryant said. “We expected a great challenge and that’s what we got. Overall, I was very pleased with what we saw on film after the game. Obviously, there is still room for improvement, but we feel like we took a step in the right direction.”

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Every Rebel player saw action during the spring game. Players from both the varsity and junior varsity squads saw action, as did junior high players.

“Every kid sixth through the eleventh grade played for us,” Bryant said. “They came and tried out and got to play. I told the boys that I am not trying to win the spring game. All we are looking for is great effort and for you to do things that we coach you to do on a daily basis. I felt like it was a really positive thing for us to give those young guys some work against a quality opponent. I was very pleased with the outcome of the spring.”
All spring long, the Rebels looked to get more physical at running the ball and stopping the run. Toughness and physicality was preached on an everyday basis throughout the nine days of practice. Even though they let up too many yards through the air on Friday, Bryant felt like they did very well at stopping the run.

“If you were at the game, you would have seen Ariton throw the ball for at least four touchdowns,” Bryant said. “We knew coming in that we didn’t spend a lot of time trying to stop the pass. We were worried about stopping the run. Our concentration for the nine days of practice was being physical and we achieved a step in the right direction.”

The Rebels will hit the weight room and focus on the passing game this summer.

“Going into June, we are going to be concentrating in the weight room and we will do some individual and group work in the summer,” Bryant said. “In the summer it’s a good time to work on your passing game and your coverage skills. Those are going to be some things we will focus on in the summer.”