Wednesday , 23 August 2017

Boyd Broncos Start Anew, Put Playoff Loss Behind Them

Boyd_FB_vs_Horn_Hanging on the wall outside the hallway that leads to the football lockers at McKinney Boyd High School is a countdown clock.

At 8:48 a.m. Thursday, that clock ticked down from 8 days, 12 hours, 24 minutes and counting…

And when that clock hits zero, the Broncos will take the field in a scrimmage against Flower Mound – one week before starting the 2013 season for real at Mesquite Horn.

To be ready for that game, head coach Don Drake knows each day is crucial.

“We can’t have any wasted days,” he said.

The Broncos began practices for the 2013 season Monday, hoping to rebound from a tough end to the 2012 season – a 45-10 loss to Dallas Jesuit in the 5A Division II Bi-District Round. A performance Drake said he was “disappointed” in.

The Broncos finished second in district play last season, but Drake said his squad didn’t play to its capability during the postseason loss. He said his team made too many turnovers, which eroded momentum, negative moments that “we never really recovered from.”

boyd_logo“One of the emphasis we’ve had with our team in the offseason and then also through spring practice… is how to handle that adversity,” Drake said, “and when one thing bad happens you make sure it doesn’t turn into two. You’ve got to learn how to get that part out of your mind, refocus yourself, and make sure you go execute the next play.”

Drake said once his squad learns to move to the next play, his squad will be able to “take back control” of momentum shifts during games, a trait he said is conducive with winning programs.

The Broncos coach said his message to his team the first few days of camp has been simple, as he emphasizes the importance of conditioning, returning to game speed and executing the offensive and defensive game plan.

And the season is quickly approaching, with the team having five practices before its scrimmage against Flower Mound Aug. 24, and eight before its season opener Aug. 30

Strategically, Boyd will remain relatively the same, continuing to runs its spread offense. The Broncos have been more run heavy in past years behind talented back Bryan Driskell, who now plays for the Air Force Academy. But Drake said this season he expects his offense to have a more balanced run-to-pass ratio, relying on senior quarterback Curtis Ladd to provide an effective passing attack.

On the other side of the ball, Drake said he feels very comfortable with how his defense is shaping up early in camp, returning five starters to play Boyd’s 3-4 base set.

“I feel like we return a really strong nucleus on the defensive side,” Drake said.

Drake said he will be looking for big seasons from senior inside linebacker Adam Brown, junior outside linebacker Ryan Madisick, senior defensive lineman Tyler Ferguson and junior defensive lineman Kiel Simas.

“Those four guys kind of solidify the defensive front for us…we’re pretty excited about those four guys,” he said.

Among those returning to the Broncos is senior defensive back Paxton Larson, who is joined by a talented and deep secondary for Boyd, Drake said.

Offensively, Drake will by looking to junior offensive lineman Matt Morse – who is moving to center after playing on the defensive line last year – and senior lineman Jesus Barrio to anchor their offensive line.

“We’re expecting those two kids to lead our offensive line…they’ve got valuable game experience and so we’re expecting them to be our leaders upfront on the offensive line,” Drake said.

Boyd also returns senior receiver Slater Brown and junior Dedrick Scrivens, who Drake said will be used as a slot receiver.

“We feel like we’re not as young as we look on paper,” he said.

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