By T. Scott Boatright
Sometimes a football coach has to think outside the box and look outside himself to find a way to reach their team.
That’s the plan for Lincoln Preparatory School head coach Glen Hall, whose Panthers will take on River Oaks in District 2-1A action tonight at 7 p.m. at Cedar Creek’s Cougar Stadium.
The Panthers and Mustangs both stand at 2-5 overall while Lincoln Prep is 0-2 in district play and River Oaks is 0-1.
Lincoln Prep head coach Glen Hall is trying to accomplish something his team has struggled with so far this season – getting all – each and every one of the Panthers – playing at full intensity for a full 48 minutes, and more if needed.
And sometimes that makes playing a game – a mind game – inside the game itself to try and make that happen.
“We need everybody fighting at the same time,” Hall said. “I’ve had players fight hard and then not at all. I’ve had the whole team fight hard for part of the game but then take plays off. I need everybody fighting hard from the opening kick until that final gun or horn sounds. And I’ve got to change things up some to try and make that happen.”
After starting at 2-0 the Panthers have lost five straight, and Hall is determined for his team to try and end the season on a determined note no matter what the outcome.
“It’s up to me,” Hall said. “Last week the first three snaps of the game we made flew over our quarterback’s head. I’ve got to find a way to make that stop happening.
“So I think we’re going to move up under center the first few plays to get the center adjusted.”
Hall started senior Chauncy Harper at quarterback last week over senior Bralyn Mayfield but said that Mayfield
“That just went horrible last week in every way it could,” Hall said. “Bralyn knew what I was doing last week because we sat down and talked about it. But it didn’t work at all. So we’ll put Bralyn back as the starting quarterback this week.
“So we’ll throw more. But we’re also working toward him running more, too. I told him he’s got to run it or I’ll take him out.”
Hall isn’t overlooking River Oaks toward the final two regular season games against Cedar Creek and Ouachita Christian.
“River Oaks is tough,” Hall said. “Let me tell you, they run that dive option, and you don’t know how to play against that dive option then you’re in trouble.”
“No. 1 you take away that dive. And you get after the quarterback. You key on him and get him every play. Every play. So that’s our focus defensively.”
Hall is looking to senior Jakobie Bedford to play a key role in clamping down on the Mustangs’ dive.
“He can stop every play he wants to,” Bedford said. “So I talked to him about consistency. But it’s as much me as it is him or all of them. I’ve got to find a way to get them to play together. Play together hard. Play together with fight.”
Hall also plans to use a little psychology to try and provide a motivational mindset heading into Thursday’s game against River Oaks.
“I think we’re going to have them watch (the football movie) ‘The Program,’ Thursday before heading over to the stadium. I’ve been watching Texas Class 5A football on TV and calling the players to tune in – ‘this is real football.’
“Most of them don’t watch football. That’s the difference with the younger guys now from the guys way back when. They think they’re learning from things like video games.”
Hall is taking the mental approach to trying to turn around his team because he feels the problem itself is mental, too.
“We are a good team,” Hall said. “But we don’t know how to beat a good team.”
Hall called the River Oaks game critical for his team’s postseason hopes.
“It doesn’t get any easier with Cedar Creek and OCS after that,” Hall said. “If we can just squeeze in — steal — a win somewhere, I still think we can end up being No. 18 in the playoffs.”