Thursday, April 24, 2014
Some thoughts from today’s visits to football practice at Lawrence, Mt. Blue and Skowhegan...
• Since John Hersom became Lawrence’s head coach in 2005, the Bulldogs have a record of 53-8. So much winning doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and some of the reasons for the Bulldogs’ success were on display at Thursday morning’s practice.
During a simple drill using the blocking sled, every Lawrence coach was in the thick of it, giving pointers and encouragement. The same goes for the upperclassmen, who quietly corrected mistakes made by younger players. When each group was done its reps on the sled, the rest of the team applauded.
Later, assistant coach Nate Quirion was going over the kickoff team, one position at a time. Every time a Bulldog was called on to the field to take a spot, the rest of the team broke out in more applause. Quirion explained to each player his role on the kickoff, loud enough for the entire team to hear.
There’s pressure to win at Lawrence, no doubt, but Hersom has done a fantastic job instilling a confidence in his team that’s taken root, from the top down.
• It’s going to be fun watching how opponents defend Mt. Blue’s tandem of tall wide receivers, 6-foot-6 Cam Sennick and 6-foot-4 Nick Hilton.
Waterville coach Frank Knight already called it a very difficult matchup.
“Nobody has a corner back who is 6-6,” Mt. Blue head coach Gary Parlin said.
Parlin added that Sennick, who also is a force on Mt. Blue’s basketball team, is a better receiver in traffic. If quarterback Jordan Whitney throws it up, there’s a very good chance Sennick and Hilton will come down with it.
• One of the best players in Skowhegan Area High School history, Billy Clark is helping Al Wilson coach his alma mater’s freshmen team this fall.
“He’s been great,” Wilson said. “He has a quiet way of teaching and coaching, and he’s doing great.”
As a senior in 2008, Clark ran for 2,187 yards and 28 touchdowns, helping the Indians win the PTC title for the first time since 1989. A finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy that year, Clark holds the Skowhegan career scoring record with 328 points.
Clark is a junior at the University of Maine, and will be in Skowhegan as often as he can to lend Wilson a hand.
Travis Lazarczyk has worked at the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal since 2000. He covers football, basketball and baseball. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tlazarmaine