The Football Friday Night 2-A-Days bus rolls through for another day.
Our first pit stop takes us to Smackover High School. Entering this season, the Buckaroos are under the direction of new head football coach, David Osborn. However, Osborn is pretty familiar with the program, having served as a coordinator for the last 13 seasons.
Osborn takes over a squad that finished under .500 for the first time since 2010, at 5-6 overall. Last season, the ‘Roos season wrapped up with a loss to Clinton in the first round of the Arkansas playoffs.
When Smackover opens the 2020 campaign on September 4 versus Junction City, they will be without 12 starters from last year’s team.
“Yeah, it’s definitely an adjustment for them, ” says Osborn. “One great thing is a lot of them did move up towards the end of last year. So, they got to see it first hand. But, you know moving up and playing a team like Junction City is completely different than a junior high level. So, these guys are going to have to grow up really fast. Luckily, we’ve got some good seniors here, from last year that have been on some really successful team, who are going to help lead the way through this.”
The 2-A-Days caravan moves to Homer High School.
Will this be the year the Pelicans win their first championship since 1939? The program returns 14 starters from a year in which they advanced to the quarterfinals. That’s when Homer fell to eventual Class 1A State Champion, Oak Grove.
Following week four of the 2019 season, the Pels averaged 39 points per week. Having seven starters return on offense could be a huge boost entering 2020.
Head football coach, former Louisiana Tech wide receiver, Richard Casey is thrilled for what’s ahead.
“Guys that we lost were good players, but we have some players I feel like that can step in, ” says Casey. “Last year was a huge step for us. Trying to get to where we want to be in 1A football … With the work the guys have put in over the Summer, we’ve had one of our best Summers since I’ve been here.”