NWE 11-and-12-year-old team coach Greg Gibson runs a tackling drill Thursday at practice.
NWE 11-and-12-year-old team coach Greg Gibson runs a tackling drill Thursday at practice.

NWE Eagles prepare for season

Published 4:54pm Sunday, August 11, 2013

For the Northwest Escambia Eagles, it’s all about fundamentals.

For the teams, that means tackling drills, blocking drills and other practice essentials. For Greg Gibson, coach and league president, it’s about the kids that participate.

This year saw a large group of about 90 players split into four age divisions. For Gibson’s 11-and-12-year-old team, this means roughly 20 or so players.

“We’re flirting with 20 (players) on our team,” Gibson said.

The league, which will be part of the Escambia River Conference, draws players from Walnut Hill, Molino, Century, Bratt and Atmore. Ninety players registered for the league this season.

“We’ve got a turnout,” Gibson said during Thursday practice. “We had a lot of players register in the 5 and 6 year olds.”

Joining the conference with teams from Poarch, Century, Jay, East Brewton, Uriah, Flomaton and Baker allows NWE to take on teams of similar sizes in all age divisions, Gibson said.

“We’re in with more local teams,” Gibson said. “It’s similar competition. We won’t be facing 40 kids with 15 like before.”

Those numbers are more kind to NWE then last year when they competed in a Pensacola league.

“I think we’ll be more competitive,” Gibson said. “We should have a fighting chance against every team we play.”

Gibson worked his team hard Thursday, having the kids – in full pads and helmets – practice tackling drills at the beginning of practice.

“We tackle every day,” he said.

The Eagles are preparing for the start of the season on Saturday, Aug. 24.

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