Lincoln Prep focused on mental aspects for season opener

By T. Scott Boatright

For Lincoln Preparatory School head football coach Glen Hall, it’s all about execution heading into his Panthers’ season opener Friday at 7 p.m. at Beekman Charter in Bastrop.

“If we just don’t make mistakes, especially on offense, then I like our chances,” Hall said. “Our defense looked pretty good in the jamboree games and will hold its own. I think we can score on them. If we can score 21 points I think we’ll be in pretty good shape to win the game. We just can’t make all the little mistakes that when combined can add up to kill you.”

Friday’s game was originally scheduled to be played at Grambling State’s Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium but was moved because the GSU football team plans on holding a night practice before leaving for Sunday’s game against Tennessee State in Canton, Ohio.

The Panthers went 1-7 in the COVID-shortened season of 2020 while Beekman was 1-4.

Hall said one of the big keys for his team will be slowing down Beekman quarterback

“I saw them on film last year (even though that game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and we got a little film on them this year,” Hall said about Beekman Charter. “They’re doing some good things. Offensively, they run well with a lot of inside zone. Their quarterback is a heckuva athlete. They don’t have dominating linemen, but that quarterback is pretty good.”

Hall believes the Panthers defense will be able to handle that Beekman offense.

“My front seven on defense played well in the jamborees,” Hall said. “We had a couple of secondary issues that I think we’ve addressed. With everyone actually being in school now, we’ve accumulated a few more guys — our numbers are going up. And while I’m not quite sure yet, I think a couple of our new guys who just came out can actually come in and help us.”

Tarrell Simons will start behind center after playing for the Panthers the past three years, going back to punting his freshman season. He’s continued punting the past two seasons while also becoming an effective receiver and even some duty at quarterback for Lincoln Prep last year.

“He’s handled this thing well,” Hall said of Simons. “He’s been playing since he was in ninth grade, so he’s totally developed over the years. He really wasn’t a player when I first got him. But over the years he’s gotten better and better. He made a couple of mistakes (in the jamboree games), but so far he’s going very good out there. He handled pressure today in practice and we just hope that transfers over to the game front (against Beekman Charter).”

Chauncy Harper and Jamarrion Buggs give Lincoln Prep’s running back corps a thunder and lighting like attack.

“Buggs came in last year but was ineligible,” Hall said. “He’s about 6-1 and 185 pounds.  He’s our bigger back and is a downhill guy. Chauncy will run all of the sweeps and he’ll run the inside zones.”

Junior lineman Imani Marcel (6-3 and 400 pounds) will anchor both the Panthers’ offensive and defensive lines while defensive end Jacobie Bedford and linebacker Nyzaeious Grimsley are expected to help lead Lincoln Prep’s defense.

“Physically I think we’re ready,” Hall said. “If this team can handle those first-game jitters and focus on doing things the right way and executing, then I think we’ll be fine.”

Photo:  by Darrell James

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