It’s year number three for Javelinas head football coach Daren Wilkinson, and it seems he doesn’t have such a huge weight on his shoulders after a successful 9-3 sophomore season However, where one season ends, the other begins with the inevitable passing of the torch from talent come and gone.
The Make-A-Wish Spring game took place last Saturday at Javelina Stadium and Wilkinson had plenty to address before and after the showcase at Javelina Stadium.
The offense is taking obvious hits losing the likes of Anthony Autry, Myles Carr, and Bo Villareal, on offense, but their replacements aren’t too farfetched from their predecessors.
More than 4,900 yards will need to be met to match or exceed the performance of the 2016 season, a daunting feat to achieve to say the least.
Coach Wilkinson has kept an eye out for his starting offensive play caller, and with four notable names on the roster at the moment, the task at hand is difficult and will require time and a half to finally come to a decision.
Admittedly for Coach “Wilk,” the quarterbacks did show some potential on the field.
“Our quarterbacks were up and down all spring,” he said.
“They had a few good practices followed by a few really bad practices and a couple of things diced in there. The last two practices our three guys that are really getting the bulk of the reps — [Cade Dyal, Casey Rosellini], add Beu Reilly into the mix — really started to make some plays and look a little bit more confident and comfortable in the pocket. That was good to see.”
Does that leave room for a quarterback battle for the top of the depth chart? Too soon to tell says Wilkinson.
“To say one guy’s got a leg up on the others? It’s way too early to say because they’re still making more mistakes than they need to be making to be called the starter. I’m glad we got some good competition there and I think we’re going to be okay at that position.”
In the process, Coach Wilk is also stuck with the growing pains of inexperienced talent that he hopes to fix come the fall, admitting that his team is flawed to a point in many parts of his offense; which was evident during the Spring game.
“There’s still a lot of sloppy play,” acknowledged Wilkinson.
“We had penalties today with false starts, and even had a couple plays where we had 10 guys on the field on offense. So we need to clean up those things, and stop making those little detailed mistakes, and we’ll get that. Fall camp, we’ll have 22 practices basically before our first game, so we’ll have plenty of time to clean that stuff up. Our guys just need to get their minds right to do that.”
Trevor Moses, DeMarcus Spurlock, and Caleb Valentine are just a few names returning with a vengeance and ready to hold true to the defenses newfound reputation, being the No. 1 ranked defense in the Lone Star Conference for 2016 in total defense. Coach Wilkinson said his stout defense is on the bottom of the list of priorities to address this offseason, seeing is how his team performed well in preventing his offense from scoring during the scrimmage on Saturday.
“We lost a couple of guys on defense, but for the most part all of our key contributors are back,” said Coach Wilkinson.
“Then, the guys we lost I think we’ve replaced with as good, if not better, players. We are expecting great things out of our defense, which is a good thing for our offense with a little bit of inexperience. We can rely on the defense to be as great as I think they have the potential to be.”
When all was said and done late Saturday afternoon, the showcase of the Blue and Gold for next season was only the team at max capacity for what is allowed until the Fall Semester at TAMUK is well in rhythm.
Above all else, Wilkinson is just hoping the Javelinas can be treated to their long awaited 35th Conference title, which sadly slipped through their hands on account of a measly five points.
That said, he just wants his team to be at the top of their game week in and week out, always to be the topic of conversation all autumn long.
“I hope we’re playing well enough deep in the season that [we] are what everybody’s talking about. This team, the last two years, the way they’ve worked and set themselves up to be contributors and contenders in this conference; that’s what we expect to do now.”