The young Daleville Warhawks football team traveled to Pleasant Home last Friday, May 21, to compete in a unique three-way spring football game to cap off spring practices for 2021.
The spring game saw JU Blacksher and Pleasant Home’s JV squad play for a quarter and their varsity teams play for a half. Daleville then played JU Blacksher in a JV quarter and varsity half. After halftime, Daleville’s JV faced Pleasant Home’s JV for a quarter and the two varsity squads played another half.
Daleville fell 23-16 in the varsity half against JU Blacksher and lost 14-0 in the half against Pleasant Home and new head coach Will Garner saw plenty of things to work on.
“We definitely got a lot to learn from with the spring game,” Garner said. “The effort was good but we have some things we need to reevaluate in terms of personnel and scheme just to put us in the best spot to win football games, but that’s why you play spring games.
“We gave the effort we wanted to see but we have a young football team that has a lot to learn. We’ll definitely take some positives from it to carry us into the summer and help us get ready for the fall.”
Against JU Blacksher, both Jeremiah Moore and Javeon McCloud scored three-yard touchdown runs. Marcus Smart also converted a two-point try and Omarion Pinckney converted the other two-point try.
Garner said that execution was the biggest thing he felt that he needed to see improvement on from his team.
“Execution is the big thing, more mental execution,” Garner said. “We have to make sure we remember what to do all the time and the technique of how to do it.
“When the bullets start flying the mental lapses start happening, and for a young football team, especially, that’s more evident. We have to make sure we stay more mentally sharp and if we do that we have the guys with talent to help us make plays.”
Garner said he was pleased with how the JV team performed and pointed to young Warhawks like Reuben Garcia, Montez Hail and Rolando Roman as players that stood out.
“The JV guys played good. We had some bright spots for sure,” Garner said. “We have some skill guys on the JV team that are very talented.
“They’re still trying to learn the scheme and the personnel and everything we’re wanting out there but they were definitely a bright spot for us. They will be a good group this year for Daleville JV football and for Daleville High School in the future.”
With a team as young as Daleville will be this season, Garner said getting those players some varsity action before the season begins was big.
“That was the whole reason we wanted to do it,” Garner said of the spring game. “We have a roster full of guys that have either played varsity very sparingly or not at all.
“Friday night was the first time that a lot of guys have played a full varsity game or four full quarters. It was great to do that now instead of trying to line up and do it for the first time in August. You can’t simulate what it feels like to be under the lights or the pressure of fans in the stands or referees being there and all the other little things. It was exactly what we needed to help us get ready for the fall.”