Five things learned, observed in Kubasaki football camp
Second in a series of visits to high school football practices around the Pacific.
Five things learned as the Kubasaki Dragons began summer workouts for the upcoming football season:
-- The post-Jarrett Mitchell era has begun in Dragonland, and Kubasaki has passed the torch to senior Winston Maxwell, every bit as quick and shifty as his predecessor, only a tad smaller. Maxwell possesses breakaway speed and is as good as gone whenever he reaches the edge. Still, replacing Mitchell’s career 3,970 yards on 357 carries is a tall order.
-- The departures of Mitchell, DeQuan Alderman (transfer), Kareem Key and Tyshon Butler (graduation) leaves a leadership and talent vacuum at eight positions, four on each side of the ball, coach Fred Bales observes. “Leadership, character, they made big plays all over the field,” he said.
-- Linebacker, in particular, is a “need” position with Butler, Key and Steven Hunt gone, Hunt having transferred back to Stafford, Va., where he’d played two years ago. Bales had been counting on Hunt to be his middle linebacker. Hunt withdrew from Kubasaki and left Okinawa three days after DODDS Pacific announced reductions and shortenings of sports seasons last November.
-- A couple of places where the Dragons are wealthy is in the line and under center. Seniors Josiah Allen, Sho Green, Joshua Davis and Christian Fernandez give the Dragons three strong offensive and three strong defensive linemen. One may expect a pitched battle at quarterback, where junior DeCurtis Davis and sophomore Jacob Green are pushing each other.
-- With the Dragons having taken the final step last season, winning their second Division I title, there appears to be a bit more spring in the players’ steps. They have a championship demeanor, Bales said, and the 11 returning players and eight who started now know how to win and possess a similar expectation for the coming season.