Lincoln Prep looking forward to Friday night scrimmage action

High school football scrimmages bring the Friday Night Lights alive this weekend, with all three parish teams in action.

The Lincoln Prep Panthers go to River Oaks for a three-way scrimmage also involving D’Arbonne Woods, with veteran coach Glen Hall eager to see his team measure up against outside competition. Action starts at 6 p.m. in Monroe.

“It will really help us going against two different teams, running two different offenses,” said Hall, who likes what he’s seeing so far from the Panthers’ defense.

“The defense is ahead of the offense. We’ve had a couple of good contact days this week, and this is as physical a team as I’ve had here in 4-5 years,” he said. “We’re small in numbers, so you have to be careful about doing too much contact, but what we’ve seen has impressed me.

“We have a group that’s mostly been together a couple of years. We’ve added a couple of new pieces and there’s no doubt this team is much more physical.”

Offensively, Lincoln Prep is honing assignments for players who have changed positions, and those who are just getting on the field for the first time.

“We have to learn our plays. We have a lot of guys who have never played the positions they’re in. They have talent, but it’s been an adjustment on the run for these kids,” Hall said. “Come Friday they’ll get the opportunity to go against somebody else and see how they perform.”

The Panthers are counting on their standout receiver for the past two seasons, Tyrell Simmons, to step in at quarterback.

“He’s doing a good job for me,” said Hall. “He knows our offense and he can make plays.”

Senior lineman Imani Marcel is an imposing 6-foot-3, 375-pounder and has impressed college recruiters.

“He’s my bell cow. He’s going to be tough to handle on both sides of the line. We’ll try to give him a lot more rest on defense. We need him on offense to open those holes for us.”

Anchoring the defense so far: linebacker Marvin Johnson and defensive end Jacoby Bedford, who “should be a standout guy,” said Hall. “I think we’re pretty strong up front with the guys we have returning.”

Like most small schools, Lincoln Prep is searching for a kicker, working out prospects for the job of knocking the ball between the uprights. Hall will adjust if nobody stands out.

“If not, I’ll just go for two,” he laughed.

His goals for Friday evening’s scrimmage are basic.

“I want to see if we’re going to be challenged, and if so, I want to see if my kids will stand up and fight back. A lot of these have never been in the battle. They’ve practiced against each other, but going against somebody you know compared to going against somebody you don’t know is totally different.

“I’m looking for aggression, just standing up and accepting the challenge of fighting through some things. We’re going to go through some adversity. The other two teams we’re playing will have some pretty good guys so I want to see how we react. We’ll learn a lot.”

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