In the midst of baseball and soccer post-season competition, Central Arkansas Christian completed spring football drills last week.
The White squad knocked off the Purple team in a close spring game, 9-0, at Mustang Mountain. Coach Tommy Shoemaker said he hoped the contest portended good things for the Mustangs in the fall.
“We split them up and tried to make it as even as we could,” he said of dividing the team for the scrimmage. “We moved the ball well; we just had turnovers in the red zone, but our defense played well.
“I think we’ll be a lot better this year, and offensively, we’ve got a chance to be special.”
CAC finished 4-6 last year, 2-5 in its final run through the 7-4A that left the Mustangs one spot short of a playoff berth. They will move to the 2-4A for the 2014-15 cycle.
About 50 players came out for spring drills, Shoemaker reported, even with three who were still tied up with soccer. The number included a few surprises for the coaching staff.
“We had a couple come out that we didn’t know about,” Shoemaker said. “Drills were very competitive. We’ve got a lot of good depth at a lot of places, and we’re going to spend the summer trying to figure out who’s going to be the starter at a lot of places.
“It’s a good problem to have. We’ve got some good players there.”
He said he felt comfortable with either sophomore Noah Evans or junior Kayleb Scallon at quarterback to replace the graduated Jack Thomas.
“They both had a good spring,” he said. “We’re not ready to name a starter yet, but both did a really nice job. Both have different strengths and things they do well.”
Running back is another spot causing few worries, he said, with junior Braylon Harris and sophomore Cameron Glaze. Stephen Flanigan, the highly touted senior-to-be, leads the receiving corps.
“He’s our headline guy there,” Shoemaker said. “But probably the best thing is we are a lot bigger up front. We’ve got probably the most size I’ve had since I’ve been here except maybe for my first year. Our right side is about 275 (pounds).
“We have three starters back on the O-line and had a kid or two come out we didn’t know about, so we’ve got good depth.”
Among the newcomers is Jason Kidder, a senior-to-be who wrestled at 220 pounds last year and is a two-time state champion in that sport.
Overall, it was a positive spring camp, the coach said.
“The newcomers had really good springs, and they are going to be able to help us,” he said. “Some will probably start; a lot of them will play quite a bit if they don’t start. We’re real deep on the defensive line and with linebackers, and I feel like we’re better in the secondary. We’ve got a lot of positive things.
“Competition is always good; I think it makes us better. If the spring game is any indication, we’ll have a real solid football team in the fall.”
Shoemaker was on vacation with his family at press time before the Mustangs start summer work next week. Team camps and the Sonic Air Raid 7-on-7 tournament at Harding Academy loom.
“We’ll go pretty hard the first couple of weeks in June, then take two weeks off for the (Arkansas Activities Association’s) dead week,” the coach said.