ECHS getting into shape

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
While school may be out of session, Coach Kyle Davis and the Escambia County Blue Devil football team aren't resting on their laurels.
While in the midst of a tough offseason workout regimen, Davis has also completed his staff for the 2005 season. Two new coaches were hired at Thursday's school board meeting and one was reassigned. Jim Risen was hired to coach the offensive line, Marshall Davis has been hired as an assistant, and Jerome Antone, who had already been hired by former coach Ted Darby, has been assigned as an administrative assistant and will coach the defensive line for the Blue Devils.
Davis is quite excited about the new hires.
"They're real good hires," Davis said. "Coach Risen will be a big asset for us coaching on the offensive line because we had a lot of trouble there in the Spring. Coach (Marshall) Davis is a young coach, this is his first coaching job. He worked as an intern and he just graduated from Alabama A&M. He's a real go-getter and the type I want to have on this staff. Coach Antone has a lot of experience as a head coach and a defensive coordinator. I expect him to help coach a lot of our younger coaches. As far as I'm concerned our staff is complete."
Three football assistants were retained. Robert Smith, Keith Nall, and Jeff Haney will remain on the Blue Devil staff.
"One thing that's held these kids back over the last few years has been coaching," Davis said. "We're not going to be held back by that anymore. If these kids aren't getting good coaching now that's our fault. Our new coaches should fit in well with our system and with the three coaches we're retaining."
In addition to his new coaching hires, Davis is working hard to get his young men into shape.
"This is the start of the fourth week of summer conditioning," Davis said. "We've had, of the 57 we had go through spring drills, we've had about 45-50 a day. That's good participation and it's better than I expected. These kids wanted stability and I feel like I've brought that here. Every day we're improving."
Davis said the remaining assistants from last year had noticed a big change in the team this year.
"We're in better shape now than we were at any point of the season last year," Davis said. "A lot of the assistants have told me that. We're slowly but surely getting to where we want to be. We're not there yet, but we're getting there."

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