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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Bulldogs undergoing culture change

  • Quitman started the process of creating a fresh culture under first-year Coach Brett Shrable this spring and summer. On Monday, Shrable and his small staff began taking that culture to another level, preparing their youthful 24-player roster for the regular season grind with strenuous morning workouts.
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  • Quitman started the process of creating a fresh culture under first-year Coach Brett Shrable this spring and summer. On Monday, Shrable and his small staff began taking that culture to another level, preparing their youthful 24-player roster for the regular season grind with strenuous morning workouts.
    “They are doing things right … the ones that are showing up. But I wish I could get 100 percent participation from everybody. That would help but at the same time it’s hard to come in and change a culture. It’s going to be a work in progress but I can say our sophomores are a great group and they all work hard. Their future is definitely very bright,” emphasized Shrable.
    The Bulldogs’ updated roster includes 13 sophomores, seven juniors and three seniors.
    The sophomores, who led Quitman to a share of the 5-2A Conference crown last fall, will be relied upon heavily this season. “They are coming along. A lot of the things we have been doing they have never done. We did the best we could three weeks [this summer] when we had three pads camps at Newport. That helped a lot. It’s going to be a struggle for sophomores and some of them are going to be playing both ways. I look for them to keep growing and get better every week,” added Shrable.
    Senior receiver Trevor Williams, senior slot back Royce Katzer, junior running back/linebacker Chris Milam and sophomore offensive lineman Abi Quiroz have stood out in Quitman’s multi-faceted offensive attack. Shrable said versatile sophomore Tyler Stracener is “no doubt the best defensive player right now.”
    Quitman worked primarily on the Double Wing attack during Wednesday’s practice session with explosive quarterback Trey McGhee behind center. McGhee ran for 1,713 yards and 22 touchdowns while passing for 672 yards and nine more scores last fall for the Junior Bulldogs.
    “Right now we are just trying to finish installing everything and keep reviewing what we have done in the spring and pad camps. We are trying to get the entire offense and defense in,” said Shrable, who served as an assistant the past three years at his alma mater Hoxie, where he earned all-state honors as a player before signing with Arkansas State.
    The Bulldogs relied heavily on their passing game over the past several years, using primarily an option read play when trying to move the ball on the ground. “They are used to running zone read and that’s pretty much the only running play they ran. We are not like that so there is a lot of mental stuff. We run the Double Wing, Pistol under center and a lot more if we ever get it all in,” added Shrable.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Bulldogs had 20 players dressed out on Wednesday with the hopes of having three to four more once physicals are completed.
    “The first few days of practice the kids that have been here have done a really good job. It’s been learning. We had shorts and helmets on the first two days and today was the last bit of install as far as the running game. It was a little sloppy but hopefully by Friday (today) we will get that cleaned up and be able to run most of our running plays.”
    To enable the Bulldogs’ young skill players to make plays, the offensive and defensive line must evolve. “The offensive and defensive line both have to keep improving,” said Shrable.“We may start four sophomores on the offensive line … probably will. The defensive line we may start two sophomores and a junior so we are extremely young up there. We are just going to have to roll with the punches and get better. That’s all we can do.”
    Shrable has emphasized lifting weights and increasing team speed since his arrival. After running sprints at the conclusion of Wednesday’s practice, the Bulldogs hit the weight room.
    “In the past they didn’t lift weight during the season, during practice time. It wasn’t really organized weight room wise. They have been doing tremendous on everything they have been doing. Last week we tested and I think we had one guy that didn’t get stronger.”

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