By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
It wasn’t the prettiest of team camps for the Stillwater High Pioneer football program on Monday.
SHS hosted Bartlesville and Yukon on the first day of a two-day team camp at Pioneer Stadium with both Pioneer players and coaches none too pleased about the team’s showing.
“The offense played weak today — there’s no way around it,” SHS sophomore quarterback Braxton Noble said. “I played weak. There’s no other way to put it, we just played bad. The defense kind of helped us up in the scrimmages and made up for how bad we were playing.”
Stillwater High coach Tucker Barnard added, “I saw more confusion (from our defense) than I’m comfortable with. ... But the more reps we get, from last week and this week, the better off that should make us.”
This was the second week of team camps for the Pioneers, and getting a different look from defenses and offense other than their own. For Noble, the past two weeks has been his first time facing opposing defenses since going down with a season-ending injury in his freshman campaign for the Pioneers.
“It’s a lot different than seeing our base 3-4 defense all the time,” Noble said. “We’ve seen so many different looks and it’s just good to get to see that before the season starts. We are getting to see everything we have a chance of seeing in the season.”
Opposing defenses aren’t the only new looks the SHS offense is getting this spring. Barnard has implemented a new three-front defense and the past two weeks have been a chance to see it in action against offenses they aren’t familiar with.
“We installed a new defense this spring, so we’re trying to figure that out, still trying to work things out,” Barnard said. “They are starting to get comfortable with the calls, I think, but when there are so many things to think about, you’ve got to process where the call puts you and then process your read and your responsibility. There’s a lot of things going on for them right now.”
For those defenders in the new scheme, facing opposing teams here in the spring will hopefully prepare them for when Stillwater implements the complete defense for the fall.
“With the new three-man front, going up against five offensive linemen, is very difficult for the defensive linemen,” Stillwater defensive end Cyntrell Carden said. “We’ve just got to continue to work on getting all of our linemen put in a spot that they’re good at and be able to stay there, learn the techniques and work at that position more.”
Carden said it was difficult, however, to try to play at limited speeds due to the fact the camp was intended for less contact — with players wearing helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.
“It was difficult getting back there to a back or something like that and try to stop before tackling them full on,” Cardeb said,