WSN to host Holtville Friday in EB
The W.S. Neal Eagle football team will be looking for a win to start their season Friday night at home when they host the Holtville High School Bulldogs.
Second-year head coach Doug Hoehn said his team has been “progressing” over the last few days.
“We have been pleased with how practices have been going lately,” Hoehn said.
As for Holtville, the Bulldogs went 1-9 last year and are under a new head coach this season.
“We went to watch them Thursday night and they were playing a 5A team and they were beating them 27-0 at halftime,” Hoehn said. “They have a good quarterback. I am not sure about his size as he is around 6-2, 6-3 or 6-4. They have a very good tailback and wide receiver that are both faster than anyone we have on our team. We have to stop those three because they are very good.”
Size-wise up front, Hoehn said his team matches up well with Holtville.
“We are not bigger than them, but I think it is an even draw,” Hoehn said. “I think we are about equal there with our level of play and our size. The key for us is to stop those three kids—the quarterback, tailback and the wide receiver. They are a big spot for their team with two of them playing defense.”
Hoehn said they also have good special teams player.
“They have a good kicker and a good punter,” he said. “They have a good special teams.”
Hoehn said preparing for a team that you have never played before in the opener, who also has a new head coach, can be looked at two ways.
“One, if we had played in a jamboree, we would have had an idea of where we stood,” Hoehn said. “I think everyone wants to win in every competition they compete in. I think if we had to have prepared for a jamboree, we would have had to prepare for it. Without having to play for a jamboree, it allows us to focus on Holtville and we have not had to change our game plan. We have been more focused on what we need to do to improve ourselves. Again, after seeing them on Thursday night, we were able to prepare for them on Friday and on Saturday and this week because I think that will be important if this week is a short week with the storm.”
As for the storm and Isaac, Hoehn said this is his first go-around with a storm in Brewton, but he is familiar with hurricanes.
“I look at the past places I have been when bad weather has come in,” Hoehn said. “It is better to be safe than sorry. We are not going to ask our kids to get here if trees or down. You have to put safety first. What I have always done is if there is danger out there, have the kids stay home especially if the schools are already closed.”
Hoehn said the same thing happened to him during Hurricane Katrina.
“I was at Jackson, Miss., and we were playing a very tough opponent in Missouri and it was going to be a long road trip,” Hoehn said. “It just was not safe to have the kids come to practice. They changed the game from a Friday to a Saturday we only practiced one day. We got on the bus and drove and got off the bus and kicked off. We were blessed and won the game.”
As of right now, Hoehn said the game this week is still on for Friday.
“I think it is important for us to manage the ball,” he said. “We have to work on ball security this year. I think Holtville is a good football team “We can’t turn the ball over or get behind the chains with penalties.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. in East Brewton.