Published 3:07 pm Thursday, August 15, 2019

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ECHS, NHS speak to media on upcoming seasons

Escambia County head football coach Scott Mason said Saturday during a media day at J.U. Blacksher that it’s hard to win with choir boys, and the Blue Devils are practicing with intensity in the lead up to the start of the 2019 season.

“We’re looking to build on the progress of last year,” Mason said. “We’re looking to build on it and open that up a bit.”

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ECHS was one of seven teams who participated in the media day at JUBHS. The other teams included Flomaton, J.F. Shields, Monroe County, Monroe Academy, JUBHS and Northview.

Mason said the Blue Devils are playing with a different style, namely like playing basketball on grass. This season, ECHS will utilize a passing-style offense, called thunder and lightning.

“They’re getting use to it,” he said.

ECHS will field a team that lost two student athletes last season due to graduation, and  is competing in Class 4A, Region 1 again.

“The top three teams in the state are in our region,” Mason said. “There are no weeks off for us. We’re excited about that.”

Mason said a big key for the team is the coaches need to coach the boys up as it is a brutal region.

In the region, the Blue Devils are up against UMS-Wright, Andalusia, Hillcrest-Evergreen, Williamson, Clarke County, Monroe County and W.S. Neal.

Mason said the most important thing the team has to accomplish this season is finishing.

“They’ve worked hard in the weight room, and we’ve got to learn how to win,” he said.

Ladarius Wilson, Trayvon Lambert and Jacob Hammac were player representatives for ECHS.

Wilson and Lambert said research is a big key to not only get better in their respective positions, but to get to know their opponents well.

For Hammac, transferring from Florala, a Class 1A school, to ECHS, was a bit different because of the speed of the game at his new school.

Additionally, Hammac said his teammates know the game.

“I’ve had to step up my game in 4A,” he said.

Mason added that Wilson, Lambert and Hammac will play at the next level.

Hammac said the competition definitely has made him a better player.

NHS head football coach Derek Marshman said the motto for the football team this season encouarges players’ selfish desires to die.

“We’re real fortunate this year,” he said. “We return nine starters on offense, and seven on defense.”

The Chiefs will be playing in a jamboree game this Friday night, and Marshman said they are treating it as a game week.

Tight end Jacob Hawkins said the summer for the team was great, and playing on defense is fun as you go after the offense.

He said game day is special.

“That’s when you really focus on the game,” Hawkins said.

Running back Jayden Jackson said he worked out with a couple of college players over the summer, and it helped him a lot.

Marshman said Jackson added 20 pounds of muscle over the summer.

Parker, who plays both ways, said he will do what he needs to do to support the team.

“Our goal is to be unstoppable,” Parker said.

Northview has 55 players in the program.