Rose Bud opens fall camp on Monday morning along with all the other high schools in the state. The Ramblers will not have as much rust to shake as some due to a plethora of teams camps and 7-on-7 games, including a final visit to Cave City last Thursday and Harding Academy on Monday.
The camps at Cave City, which featured Bald Knob and Cedar Ridge along with the host Cavemen, provided the Ramblers a boost in confidence entering the rigorous fall camp period. “[The camps] have given us a chance to get live looks both offensively and defensively,” said Rose Bud Coach Steve Rose. “We've seen some different blitzes which for our offensive line is always a plus. We've seen a couple different fronts in our run game. We are getting game style snaps. It's kinda like getting an extra scrimmage or two in. We feel like we are further ahead than we have ever been.”
Rose said the Ramblers won their last two games of 7-on-7 Monday at Harding, where they matched up with Southside Batesville, Harding and Riverview. The Ramblers may have also won the first contest, but Rose was more concerned with the offensive rhythm than the scoreboard.
“I know we won the last two, but I am not sure about the first game. Somebody told me we did win it but I was working on a couple of predicaments, a couple of reads we were having trouble with. It was just a couple of different things we were tinkering with … A few new routes. I was really paying more attention to the execution of what we were doing than how many times we scored. Early in the day I was really focused on some new things we had put in.”
It's been a busy summer for the Ramblers, who also traveled to Dover, Pulaski Robinson, Atkins, Hector and Searcy numerous times for competition. “We have been very happy with the way we have performed all summer. We have done well in all of our 7-on-7. We have been competitive every game, every time we have gone out even against bigger schools. Team camp wise we feel like we have been very competitive and have gotten good snaps. We have been able to control the line of scrimmage, which is a big plus for what we are going for offensively and defensively with our front guys.”
With junior Andrew Adcock and sophomore Jake Cantey taking equal snaps at the pivotal quarterback position, Rose and staff are keeping a close eye on the situation.
“On Monday we let them split a game and then each played a game. They both did well and we did the same last week because we played three games at Cave City. We want to get some extra looks at them on film and we gave them each their own game to give them some time to get some rhythm.
Page 2 of 2 - “Either one can do the job so that is not something we are concerned about,” Rose continued. “We feel comfortable that we have two guys that can handle it, so it's not a situation where you have to be worried about injuries really decimating you in one spot. It's such a key spot and we've got two guys that can step in there and play it. That says a lot about our kids.
“We haven't made any decision. We are going to work this thing into the fall camp and as we get closer and closer we will see a victor emerge. One of them may get more snaps than the other, we may play two quarterbacks or we may play four or five. We will just have to wait and see,” added Rose.
Rose Bud boasts four receivers, including Adcock when not playing quarterback, that have shown the ability to make big plays. Junior receiver Blake Ferrell has come along quickly over the past few weeks.
“Blake Ferrell has played very well,” said Rose. “He has worked himself into a spot where he is going to get a lot of snaps when we are in a four receiver set. And there are some other things we plan to do with him. Coming out of fall he needed some extra snaps because he didn't get any playing time last year and he has really kinda blossomed. He has gone across the middle making big plays and consistently in 7-on-7, him and Adcock have pushed themselves forward where in the spring we were pretty comfortable with [Tyler] Weatherly and [Caleb] Ferren as playmakers but we felt like we needed some depth at those other receiver spots. Now, we feel like we've got four guys we can go to at anytime.”
Rose Bud is scheduled to scrimmage at Bigelow on Monday, August 26 before opening the regular season in the Hootens.com Kickoff Classic versus Hazen on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Estes Stadium in Conway.