Team begins to blend in players from four schools
SPRINGHILL — When the Webster Parish School Board voted to consolidate four North Webster high schools into one there were happy people and some not so happy people.
But no one could blame Springhill head coach Joey Pesses if he was one of the happy people because the consolidation of the four schools into the new North Webster High School more than doubled the number of players on his football team.
"It's been good so far," Pesses said. "The move doubled our numbers and we now have somewhere between 55 or 60 players out. It's really been a good thing for us. A lot of the new kids haven't put on the pads before, but they've been doing a good job."
The incoming players from the others schools have been excited about the opportunity at North Webster, and Pesses said his returning players were also enthusiastic about the reinforcements.
"They were excited about it," Pesses said. "This makes us better. As soon as the consolidation stuff passed, we started talking to our returning players and told them with the new kids coming in, everyone would have to work for their spots, nobody was going to be given anything."
Pesses has been pleased so far with the results.
"I think that the way it's played out, we've got a good mix from the different schools," he said. "And we didn't plan it that way. We're just going to play whoever busts their tail and plays the best. Nothing makes you better than competition."
Pesses said the team has meshed well and is making progress, despite having to slow things down a bit for the new players.
"We've slowed the learning curve down a bit, but things have gone well," he said. "We've been working on teaching stuff like the defensive schemes and adjustments on what the other teams are doing. They've responded well. Yesterday the offense was a little ahead of the defense, but it's really a day by day thing."
The Knights will head to Ringgold for a scrimmage on Friday, and then will take part in a jamboree next week at Lakeside.
Pesses said that by now, there are no more Lumberjacks, Tigers, Wildcats or Hornets, just Knights.
"We just had to embrace it," he said. "It's all about the kids and getting them comfortable. They didn't have a problem with it and we don't have a problem with it as adults."