|Carlisle's Jasean Harper runs the ball during the Bison's win over Brinkley last season. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
CARLISLE — The Carlisle Bison are trying to work out the kinks as they head into the season opener against Lonoke on Aug. 31 at James B. Abraham Stadium.
The Bison are now coached by Caleb Shock, the fourth coach in the last six seasons.
“We knew it was going to be a big adjustment for the kids,” Shock said. “One thing that I talked about with the kids today that these seniors have their fourth head coach in me in their time with the program.”
The seniors had Brandon Barbaree when they were in the seventh grade, then Jack Keith in eighth and ninth grade. Mark Uhiren was their coach in 10th and 11th grade.
“There has been a lot to turnover and inconsistencies for these guys,” Shock said. “It’s not really a fair deal for them. It will be a life lesson that life’s not fair and you have to adjust on the fly sometimes. They have done that. They’ve really tried to embrace the things we are doing.”
The Bison scrimmaged at Bald Knob on Tuesday.
“The biggest takeaway for me is that our guys showed marked improvement in some of the intangibles that I really challenged them to work on that wasn’t there when we got there in June. It’s just effort and attitude, a little bit of accountability to your teammates and yourself.”
Shock said the team’s execution wasn’t good at the scrimmage
“But those intangible things are the things I stress the hardest,” Shock said.
The Bison have six seniors on the roster. They are: Jasean Harper, Christian Harrison, Baylor Craig, Kaden Bray, Braiden Jenkins and Blake Sumner.
Harrison and Jenkins missed all of summer workouts after attending basic training for the Arkansas Army National Guard. Jenkins returned right before school started two weeks ago. Harrison will be back Monday.
Jenkins was the starting quarterback last year. Sophomore Eli Moody had been playing quarterback but was injured and Jenkins started against Bald Knob.
“Jenkins is going to be a heavy two-way guy for us,” Shock said.
Shock said that Harper and Bray ran the ball hard against Bald Knob.
“Baylor has made a lot of improvement as an offensive linemen,” Shock said. “Christian, we’ll see what he can do when he gets back. He’s been a guy who has started at times over the last two years.”
Shock said his team was ready to hit another team prior to the Bald Knob scrimmage.
"We were ready to hit someone in a different color uniform,” Shock said. “We’ve tried to be pretty physical in practice. I know our numbers are low. Being physical hardens you, prepares you because the game is physical.”