Football Practice

by | May 7, 2015 | Sports

By Greg Ford

Sports Editor

[email protected]

For the first time in several years, the same person who coached them in the fall is leading the Plano East football team at spring practice.

For years, that was Johnny Ringo, but since he left the PESH campus a few years back, the reins were taken over by two men, first Randy Jackson for a year and then alumnus Joey McCullough, who’s rookie campaign was 2014.

Now, McCullough is heading into his second season at East, and this spring the work that began last fall and this winter continues under his tutelage and the other coaches he’s brought aboard.

“We have a lot of things going on,” McCullough said. “We’re working on getting kids better and more practice. The tempo has been great.”

East fans will get a good look at the potential 2015 Panthers during the May 15 Spring Showcase at Kimbrough Stadium,

The two main goals during this past offseason, the coach noted, were getting players stronger and teaching football.

It helps that East will return eight players on offense and nine on defense. Not only does that mean PESH will field an experienced team this fall, but also one that understands what McCullough wants to do and accomplish. Part of the doing includes installing a 4-3 defensive alignment after many years in a 3-4.

“It’s all about putting speed on the field,” McCullough said. “We have some guys like Grayson Diepenbrock, who is a 4.7 (40) and played linebacker last year, going to an end. Will Garrey will play some linebacker and end. Michael McNair is back from last year, and is a 4.7 guy playing defensive end. We’ve Dieon Davis and Bryson Royal back from last year. Anthony Hines is back and our whole secondary is back from last year.”
The coach added, “We went to the four-man front against Allen (in the 2014 regular-season finale), and played really well. Our kids are adapting to it. I think they believe in it.”

He added, “We’re working on the basic fundamentals, and we’re talking about being balanced in the secondary and we’re talking about keeping two safeties on top; limiting the big play and make people drive the length of the field.”

Miklo Smalls, who fought through injuries in 2014, will be the signal caller again this season.

This spring he’ll be working on timing with two wide outs, Ade Omotosho and Tim Wilson, each of whom is Div. I college material, McCullough said. Also back are East’s other receivers: Zadok Wilson, Cameron Moore and Carson Young.

A big key to making the passing game work will be the rushing attack, and it appears the Panthers are solid there, too.  One big addition, McCullough said, is Desmond Bowden, who comes to East following the closing of the Prime Prep Academy.

“He will be our senior leader going into the backfield,” McCullough said. “He’s a guy who (runs) downhill and has a lot of ability.”

A trio of current freshmen — they’ll be sophomores this fall — also should see time with the pigskin: Trey Hunter, Jonathan Meadors and Nathan Miller.

“All three of these guys are doing a great job for us,” McCullough said.

The coach is also enthusiastic about his potentially deep offensive line, which could have Dane Cordell back at center, Cole Moore at left guard and Casey Verhulst at left tackle.

“We have several guys in that starting role,” the coach said. “We are wanting to be two-deep (along the line).”

He added, “We have added some size and we have some depth … More than anything, they have got attitude. I have been stressing it all year: attitude and effort. If you have those two, you have a chance to win.”

0 Comments

Related News

Plano East’s three keys to beat Wylie

Plano East’s three keys to beat Wylie

The Plano East Panthers are looking to get back to the basics. After a second consecutive loss to open the season, the Panthers (0-2) have a short ride to Wylie ISD Stadium to take on the Pirates. Wylie (0-2) has struggled out of the gate this season, losing two games...

read more
Lake Highlands outruns Plano East

Lake Highlands outruns Plano East

The Plano East Panthers (0-2) gave Lake Highlands (2-0) all they could handle, but ultimately the Wildcats won out.  Lake Highlands scored 31 points in the first half on the way to a 55-24 victory. Plano East, playing in Kimbrough Stadium for the first time this...

read more
Plano East’s three keys to beating Lake Highlands

Plano East’s three keys to beating Lake Highlands

After a difficult opening week loss, Plano East faces another tough test in non-district game two. While it’s not quite as daunting as top 10 in the state Allen, Lake Highlands presents a formidable foe. The Wildcats were projected to finish second overall in District...

read more
Flabiano stands out as one of nation’s top kickers

Flabiano stands out as one of nation’s top kickers

Not many people can say they’re among the very best at what they do. At Plano East, the Panthers starting kicker and punter Buzz Flabiano can say just that. A season after making 14 of 17 point-after attempts and hitting a couple of field goals, Flabiano was given a...

read more
East can’t keep up with Allen in loss

East can’t keep up with Allen in loss

Early in the season, Plano East is ready to work on some mistakes. Heading to Eagle Stadium for the Tom Landry Classic on Aug. 27, the Panthers hurt themselves in their 56-30 loss against Allen. Starting right off on the opening kickoff, Buzz Flabiano blasted the ball...

read more
Plano East’s three keys to beating Allen

Plano East’s three keys to beating Allen

Looking to put 2020 behind them, the Plano East Panthers are ready to hit the gridiron. It will begin much like 2020, with a matchup in the Tom Landry Classic against Allen. One of the strongest programs in Texas high school football, the Eagles represent a tough...

read more
Lady Panthers have successful opening week

Lady Panthers have successful opening week

The theme for this season was about gaining respect for the Plano East volleyball program. Under the guidance of new head coach Nikki Pugh, the team did just that in its opening week. Starting off the season on the road, Plano East beat Frisco Lebanon Trail in...

read more
Plano East offense eager to hit the ground running

Plano East offense eager to hit the ground running

The Plano East Panthers have a new mindset this season and the offense is ready to get on the field and get started. With a new quarterback and new offensive scheme, East will have a new look for 2021. That’s refreshing for a team that struggled last season, with some...

read more
Panthers cycling young talent in secondary

Panthers cycling young talent in secondary

With the optimism at the Plano East football program this summer, it’s easy to feel excited about the team. One area where the team is continuing to evaluate its options is in the secondary. With a number of new players taking over roles at safety and cornerback, the...

read more