By T. Scott Boatright
The Lincoln Prep Panthers completed their 7-of-7 summer football camp competitions Thursday afternoon by playing at Lakeside.
Head Panther Glen Hall said gaining much needed experience was the best part of his team’s 7-on-7 camps, which were played at Jonesboro-Hodge.
“Both teams are really young but we both still made a lot of good plays,” Hall said of the competition at Lakeside. “We’re especially young at our skill positions, so it was good to get those guys out there and just get into some action – any kind of action at this point is a good thing. We scored six times and Lakeside scored four times.
“We also played pretty well last week at Jonesboro-Hodge. Both teams scored three times in that one.”
Hall said that Cenario Wilson was the offensive standout for his Panthers during the competitions.
“He knows how to catch the ball,” Hall said. “He made some really good plays against both teams and will only keep on getting better and better as he gains more experience, which is what makes these 7-of-7s so important. Hopefully that experience will help us once the season kicks off.”
Hall also said he liked the efforts from running backs Chase Huntley, who played the linebacker position last year will get carries in 2023, as will Datavian Wright, who is expected to take over the role at fullback
“Those are two of the better downhill runners we’ve had in a long time,” Hall said. “So we’re going to be a run-first team, which isn’t necessarily anything new for us.
“But we are going to move away from the four-receiver offense we used a lot last year and bring a tight end in, too. We’ll be using a play action-based offense.”
Offensively, it was a dark-horse who seemingly took hold of the starting quarterback role as Jordan Brown was forced into action and responded in winning fashion.
Michael Lewis, Jordan Brown and Shavell Robinson each played some quarterback for the Panthers during the 7-on-7s.
“That position is pretty wide-open and will hopefully work itself out when we start preseason practices in August.”
Lincoln Prep will begin those preseason workouts on Aug. 7 on the new school’s football field.
Permanent stands have been delayed, but Hall said preparations for temporary bleachers for this season are being made.
“The athletics complex won’t be ready until November,” Hall said. “So it looks like we’ll have temporary bleachers and lawn chairs out there this season.
“But the field is ready to go and great. I really think we’re going to have one of the best fields in north Louisiana.”
Hall said Huntley was the defensive standout for the Panthers during the 7-on-7 competitions.
“He’s so fast,” Hall said. “He knocked down all kinds of balls against both Jonesboro-Hodge and Lakeside. He had five knockdowns today against Lakeside.
“Now we just have to teach him to catch out so he can help with that part on offense, too. He’s a solid running back. But he still has to learn to catch the football.”
Lincoln Prep will play in the Plain Dealing Jamboree before opening the regular season on Aug. 31 – a Thursday – at home against Madison.
Following is a breakdown of Lincoln Prep’s 2023 regular season schedule with District 2-1A games designated by an asterisk:
• Aug. 31, Madison, HOME
• Sept. 8, Plain Dealing, HOME
• Sept. 15, Arcadia, HOME
• Sept. 22, Jonesboro-Hodge, HOME
• Sept. 29, Lakeside, Away
• Oct. 6, Richwood, Away
• Oct. 13, St. Frederick*, HOME
• Oct. 20, OPEN
• Oct. 27, Cedar Creek*, HOME
• Nov. 3, Ouachita Christian*, Away
“We only have nine games because River Oaks dropped down to eight-man football and out of the (Louisiana High School Athletic Association).” Hall said. “But for the first time in years we will be playing home games in Grambling, and that’s something most of this team hasn’t been able to do.
“So we’re really looking forward to it, temporary stands and all. And the future looks incredible for this young team. We just have to work on building up experience through getting players snaps before the season begins.”