Port St. Joe works through spring drills

Published: May. 5, 2023 at 8:59 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Port St. Joe is busy working through 20 days of spring football, and Coach Tanner Jones is hoping his team will learn a lot in a relatively short period of time. The coach, in his fourth season guiding this program, tells us he’s lost 19 players to graduation, with about 8 or 9 seniors on board heading into the fall. So it will be a younger bunch of Sharks in 2023. And here in spring, he’s working to replace a lot of starters, with kids moving around in a variety of positions to see who fits where? And so it’s a steep learning curve in this 20 spring workouts!

”I don’t know, be creative, have fun with it.” The coach said about the approach in this workouts this month. “I know for me personally, I try not to yell at ‘em too much. Because I know I’m asking a lot out of them. We try to keep the offense as simple as possible. Anything that we’re gonna do we’ll tag it. And just keep the thinking out of it for them. And again a lot a lot of reps.”

And the hope is all the reps will result in a fairly organized depth chart they can move into the summer months with.

“I think our focus is figuring out who can fill the spots of those guys that we lost.” Jones says. “And you know those are those key, key possessions. So I want to go back there and see what’s going on, I hear people yelling. So I mean really I think spring is the one time you can really be physical. You can really hit, and then if a kid gets banged up a little bit, you’ve got two months to get them back. So we’re going to hit in the next seven or eight days before we go and play our spring game. And see who comes out of it.”

And it’s not just starting roles the coach is hoping to see come into focus. He’s looking for some seniors, and even some underclassmen, to step into leadership roles in these four weeks of work.

“They’ve got to be here. They’ve got to put forth the effort. They’ve got to be good people first. Nobody wants to follow somebody they don’t like. So they’ve got to accommodate the young guys as well as the old guys. And so far that’s what they’re doing. I think they’re being leaders right now,. Not necessarily vocally, but just by their actions. And then we have a couple of other guys that are going to step up. We’ve got a couple of young guys that have been with us for a couple of years, juniors that I think will kind of lead the way as well. So it’s not just going to be on them, we’ve got a couple of other ones we’re going to depend on. "

St. Joe will wrap spring with a three team jamboree against Liberty and Munroe at the end of next week.