DuBose pleased with spring game effort
View photos of the Spring game here
By Mark Clark
The defending AHSAA Class 7A state champion Central High Red Devils gave their coaching staff plenty to work on over the next three months with their play last Thursday evening at Garrett-Harrison Stadium. The Red Devils took to the turf to play Eufaula High in their annual spring game.
While Central’s first two units showed promise on offense and on defense, at times, the coaching staff knows more about its players and where it must develop some depth before the 2019 high school football season begins on August 23 when the Red Devils take on Hoover High at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.
“I am happy about the game . . . happy it is over without anyone getting injured. It was a good game. I would have liked to have played more kids, but he (Eufaula coach Ed Rigby) didn’t sub as much as I would have liked. It’s hard to play your threes and fours against his ones,” Central coach Jamey DuBose said of the game.
The Red Devils will head into their sixth year under DuBose, who has a 54-9 record with the team. He led the Red Devils to their first state championship title in 25 years last season with a perfect 14-0 record and a 52-7 victory over Thompson High. The Red Devils have also won five-consecutive Region 2.
Expectations are high for the 2019 season with the Red Devils returning 11 players with Division 1 scholarship offers and a preseason USA Today ranking of No. 11 in the country. But, DuBose is quick to deflect those accolades.
“The preseason ranking is an honor for what last year’s team accomplished. This team will have to step up to earn that ranking. Right now, we are not where we need to be when the season opens against Hoover. We have to develop some depth at some positions. I think we used nine or ten kids at cornerback against Eufaula. We got burned a couple of times with some blown coverage that they scored on, but the score in the game does not matter. I really did not care whether we won or lost the game. We didn’t even keep up with the score. The game was more of a reward for the work the kids have put in and for the coaches to get some tape to work with.”
The game went only three quarters as lightning moved into the area and caused the final quarter to be canceled. Still, DuBose thought three quarters were enough to see what he needed to see and not all of it was bad.
“I think our offensive line probably had its best performance of the spring getting off the ball. We held out some kids that will probably play a lot there, but we got to see some kids that we will definitely need next season. We got to play three quarterbacks and got the chance to see how they could do under more game-like conditions instead of in practice. It was good to see a solid night from our linebackers. We found out that there are some combinations of players that did not work like we wanted and we will work on that. We saw some combinations that did work. We also had too many fumbles. I think there were five. If we had not fumbled so much, we might have scored a hundred points with our offense,” DuBose said with a chuckle.
With the game out of the way and the school year coming to an end, DuBose has already got a plan for the summer for his players. The plan begins next week when the team begins its off-season conditioning. He also has four 7-on-7 camps his team will attend. The first is on June 12 at Auburn University. Central will be at the camp at the University of Alabama on June 22, the Wiregrass camp at Troy University on June 28 and will spend July 11-13 at the Hoover High camp.