On a welcome cool evening for late August a substantial crowd gathered to watch the 2016 3A State Champion Mineola Yellowjackets scrimmage against the 4A Caddo Mills Foxes. Caddo Mills was dressed in their prime-time gear with green jerseys and white numbers. The Mineola Yellowjackets had on white jerseys – no numbers and no names. It was time to focus on team play more so than on individual play.
The scrimmage consisted of a series of 15-play sets each for the first and second teams, on offense and on defense, for the junior varsity teams and then for the varsity teams. There was some aggressive play on both sides of the ball and some hard hits. The night ended with a live quarter between the two varsity teams.
The varsity Yellowjackets looked to be shaping up nicely for the season scoring 3 times on the evening. They moved the ball well on offense and controlled the field well on defense. Coach Blackwell commented on what he saw. “We were focused on the fundamentals tonight. Our kids played well. The defense looked good.” He went on saying, “we made some mistakes too, but we will get those fixed.” Overall, the coach said he was excited and that the players have a great attitude.
Coach Blackwell is looking forward to opening the season, his first as the Mineola head football coach, on the road Friday against the Van Vandals. With only three starters coming back on defense from the championship team, and only two starters returning on offense their work is cut out for them. This game will be a good test of the development of the younger players.
Shaw Franklin, a junior and the varsity quarterback, moved well in the pocket, had some long throws and showed that he has some nifty moves and quickness. Mineola had some great pass plays and hard runs Friday evening, along with a couple of well-run screen plays.
The defense also looked strong stuffing the box, breaking up pass plays and even grabbing an interception. There was a lot of hustle towards the ball.
The Mineola Yellowjackets open the season Friday in Van. Game time is 7:30.