Houston Davis: Numbers low, but optimism high

The Davis football team may be going through some adversity as they head into next season. With the numbers turned in from the spring game, it looks as though there will be plenty of players going both ways. But no worries, as the Panthers look to make some noise in their respective district. TexasPrepInsider talked with coach Chuck Arnold after the annual spring game for this spring report.

A well-known cliché is the statement that says it's not about quantity, but quality is always going to stand true. But in the case of Jeff Davis football team, a little bit of both would be nice.

After wrapping up their spring workouts Friday at Delmar Stadium with the annual spring game, coach Chuck Arnold was impressed with his team's effort and feels the Panther football team will be a contender in District 21-4A. 

Despite what Arnold calls a solid group of guys, there is one thing that may be an issue for success next season, depth.

"As you can see we only had 37 out here tonight, so depth in is going to be a major issue," Arnold said. "And not all who were here tonight will make the varsity. I think my varsity roster is now at 25 and that's what it will stay unless I get some move-ins. I didn't see anyone who is going to leap up to the varsity level so those 25 are the ones I'm going to war with."

And while that is a major concern, there are still a few others. But after the spring game there is one position he no longer needs to worry about.

"The receiving corp. I was worried about that going into the season, but I don't think I need to worry about it anymore," Arnold said. "We graduated Jerrell Jackson from our receiving corp, but I think we will be okay and they picked up everything pretty well."

By Davis saying they, he likely means a new group, which includes Ishmael Hayes, Jhamail Thorne, and Patrick Chenier, all of who had solid performances. Hayes, who stands 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, caught a short pass and maneuvered his way in and out of defenders and scored from about 60 yards out.

From what it seems skilled players are not too much of an issue. But in the trenches, that is a major topic of concern according to Arnold.

"There is one questions that is still not answered and that is our offensive line," Arnold said. "That is still a question mark. We did not have any sacks tonight per se, but this is not indicative of what we are going to see in district play. I think that (the offensive line) will be our Achilles heel. If the line doesn't step up we are going to be mediocre."

But with that said, optimism is still high in the Panthers' organization. It seems that every team's primary goal is a chance at the postseason, but Arnold wants his guys to want more than just an appearance.

"They always expect to be in the playoffs and if they don't then they shouldn't be on the field," Arnold said. "But we try to get the guys to think a little bit higher you know for like a district title, you know push for it. I think they have a lot intensity and focus. They show up all summer and are ready to get busy and go to work."

Given the nature of the situation at hand, Arnold ended with this statement.

"They better be in shape."

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