COVINGTON — Newton’s football team has shown some promise of good things to come after a good summer workout session.
Making things better for second-year head coach Terrance Banks is the fact that he had a full coaching staff and the players know what his expectations are.
“They’re more apt to do the things I’m saying and having a full coaching staff has been tremendous towards helping in what we’re doing,” Banks said. “It’s going extremely well. We had about 60-70 kids steady and probably had about 100 come out over the summer.”
Another important aspect of summer practices is that it gives the coaching staff a chance to evaluate potential starting players while allowing last year’s starters to improve their skill level. While the Newton offense has a lot of players coming back, the defense has a lot of positions that have to be filled.
Three players that have stepped up to the challenge of filling in those open positions are senior defensive back Erin Francis and junior linebacker Tony Collins.
“He is one we (coaches) were talking about coming into the secondary and is doing good,” Banks said of Francis. ” We also think we have a good sophomore in Dion Washington who’s going to be a tremendous player by the time he leaves here. Those kids are stepping up and having a great summer.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction in replacing depth. It’s one of those things where we’re getting there and are felling real good as to where we’re at.”
An additional pleasant surprise over the summer has been the maturing level of last year’s starting quarterback Romario Johnson. Banks said that Johnson’s leadership in the field is evident by his ability to direct players to put them in position.
“It makes a big difference,” Banks said. “We have a good quarterback and he pretty well knows the system. Romario will be the coach on the field since he has a good grip on the offense. How he goes depends on how far we can go.”
While the team dynamics change from year to year because of change of personnel, Banks plans on keeping the as much of the same balanced system from last year’s team.
“The team is different and we can tell. We change and tweak somethings but nothing tremendous. Everything is pretty much the same. We’re going to do what we do,” Banks said. “I keep telling people that it’s not about me. In high school football it’s really about the team and can your kids deliver. The biggest difference for us is that. We’re working and looking forward to next Friday when we can finally get after it. We have a few surprises but I want to keep them under wraps.”