Rain doesn’t spoil jamboree

Published 10:49 pm Monday, May 25, 2009

After Friday’s muddy, wet spring jamboree, Pleasant Home coach Robert Bradford had a simple assessment for the night — it was a lot of fun.

“It was a lot of fun and I know the kids had a blast,” Bradford said. “Every team left with one win and one loss, so each group was able to leave with a positive note. And now we coaches have film that we can evaluate as we head into the summer.”

Torrential rains quickly turned Pleasant Home’s field into a muddy, puddle-riddled swamp. Teams had trouble holding onto the ball and lost their footing, but it was obvious the players were also enjoying themselves as they splashed around and stayed pumped up on the sidelines even in the downpour.

The jamboree featured Pleasant Home, Florala, Samson and Zion Chapel. Each team played 20-minute games against two other opponents.

Samson beat Zion Chapel 16-0, Florala beat Samson 6-0, Zion Chapel beat Pleasant Home 6-0 and Pleasant Home beat Florala 6-0.

Of course, the final scores were secondary to the teams’ other goals for the night — working on personal improvement and enjoying a reward at the end of spring practice.

“We had some guys really grow up tonight,” Florala coach Stan Gooden said. “I’m just glad they had fun out there on the field. We had 36 who dressed out tonight, and I think that’s probably who we’re going to start the fall with. We’re going to be a year older and a year stronger.

“We’ve still got a long way to go, but I think we’re going to close the gap a lot quicker than I thought we would.”

Gooden said one positive from Friday night was his team’s defense, particularly in the win against Samson.

In that game, the Wildcats stopped Samson on a fourth-and-7 from the Florala 30. Two plays later, Florala’s Zach Fleming pitched outside to Lavoris Ball, who broke away from the defense for a 70-yard touchdown run.

“The defense did a great job tonight,” Gooden said. “They got us the ball on that fourth down stop, and then our quarterback made the right read on our veer play. That’s what it’s supposed to look like when you execute it correctly.”

Pleasant Home’s defense also made a key stop to set up the Eagles’ offense in the final game of the night, against Florala.

Pleasant Home defensive back Sidney Newby picked off Fleming to give the Eagles great field position at the Florala 28. Three plays later, Frank Senn scored on a 6-yard touchdown run.

“We football is kind of ugly at times, but our kids played hard and did exactly what the coaches asked them to do,” Bradford said. “We’ve learned what we’ve got for next year. I think this spring, our kids learned to be a little tougher and more aggressive.

“We’ve definitely got something we can build off of now. That’s exactly what you want, at the end of spring.”