Blue Devils end season, aim to improve

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The offseason for Escambia County begins now.

Last week, the Blue Devils ended their season with a 21-20 loss to Faith Academy. For the year, ECHS finished 2-8.

Jordaun Patterson threw three touchdown passes in the loss — a screen to Demetrious Barnes, and passes to Lue Williams and Lashawn Robinson.

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ECHS head football coach Rico Jackson said it isn’t acceptable at how the season ended up.

“Two-and-eight isn’t going to get it done,” Jackson said. “We’ve got a tough schedule, but that’s not an excuse.”

Jackson said the team has to play better football.

“And we’ve got to coach better,” he said. “We’ll be better next year, no doubt, but better is not good enough. We need to reach our potential. We’re going to have to have a good offseason.”

Jackson said an effort will be had to make sure other schools don’t take advantage of the Blue Devils in scheduling for next year. This is a reclassification realignment year.

“We’re just going to have to do a lot of things this offseason; we’re going to have to work our tails off and defend our school so people won’t come and poach us,” he said.

In spite of losing 12 seniors, the Blue Devils will return a big chunk of its team next season.

Jackson said the players will have off the next two weeks, and then will hit the weights hard after Thanksgiving for three weeks.

In January, team-building and character exercises will be implemented, along with a four-day-a-week workout schedule, Jackson said.

Jackson said after every season, he likes to get a fresh start and rearrange things in the locker and weight rooms.

Jackson believes the Blue Devils will get better.

“Two-and-eight is not acceptable,” he said. “We have to get better. We will get better. I hate that the seniors’ career ended that way. We’re going to have to push forward. We’re just going to have to get better learning the game of football. We do have some good athletes, and athletes can help you be successful, but football players win games. We’re going to have to do a better job coaching and put them in a position to winning.”