Seahawks, Panthers get some answers|Joined by South Central, Manteo in scrimmage

Published 12:30 pm Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sports Editor

CHOCOWINITY — Northside coach Keith Boyd left Saturday morning’s football scrimmage with a smile on his face. Meanwhile, Southside coach David Hines saw some good and bad from his players.
The two Class 1-A, Four Rivers Conference rivals were joined by fellow Four Rivers team Manteo, along with South Central, a 3-A team that competes in the Coastal Conference.
“I was very pleased,” Boyd said about his team’s effort. “I saw a lot of good. We had been here Thursday and I didn’t think we were very aggressive.
“Our aggressiveness got a heck of a lot better. We executed some on offense. Defensively, I’m starting to see that swagger come back to us a little bit. We’re starting to find some people that will hit you and get after it.”
Boyd said his Panthers, who will open the season Friday night at home against Creswell, had some bright spots.
“I think DeMarques Williams ran his butt off,” Boyd said. “Offensively, our offensive line is getting better and better. I thought Isaiah (McCullor) made some good decisions at quarterback.
“All in all, I was just really proud with the whole group. I was really proud.”
Hines said the scrimmage was a good learning experience.
“We got better in some areas,” Hines said. “I don’t think we got worse in anything, which is the good thing. I keep telling the guys, ‘if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.’
“We just have to keep working on it. We did some good things; we did some not-so-good things. We have to get in better shape, and we will.”
Like Boyd, Hines was pleased with how his players did up front offensively.
“I think the offensive line as a whole did a good job,” said Hines, whose Seahawks open the season Friday night at home against North Duplin. “We held our own against South Central, which is good because they have some really good players. We moved the ball against everybody we faced. We’ve got to not shoot ourselves in the foot by making mistakes.”
Hines praised the solid play of defensive end Teon Aaron.
“I think Teon Aaron on defense, who is one of our ends, did a really good job on his side of the ball,” Hines said. “He stood out because he did what he was asked to do. When you stand out doing what you’re asked to do, that means you’re doing it pretty well.”
Hines said that going up against a bigger school like South Central, led by coach Walt Davis, benefited his squad.
“Going up against a school that is coached as well as they are, and with how many kids they have and with their size, I think it helps show our weaknesses and it shows us the things we need to work on,” Hines said. “From the first series when we went against them to the second series when we went against them, we got better against them because we picked up some things that they did.
“By us being able to do that against a 3-A team, we can carry that over into this week and carry that over against North Duplin on Friday night.”
Boyd agreed that squaring off against the Falcons was a plus.
“Any time you can play somebody who is a little bit better and bigger than you are can’t do anything but help you,” Boyd said.
While teams ordinarily don’t like to scrimmage against conference rivals, Hines said the schools will benefit from the experience. Southside and Northside will face off in the annual Anchor Bowl in the regular-season finale. Meanwhile, Manteo plays at Southside on Oct. 2, and at Northside on Oct. 16.
“Coach Boyd and I have talked numerous times about it,” Hines said. “A lot of stuff early in the season, you’re really vanilla with what you do. You’re just trying to get good at what you need to get good at, fundamental-wise. I think he’s doing the same thing.
“We’re both working on some new stuff. It helps that we’re so close, and (Boyd) and I have such a good relationship that we can do this. You’ll always have the fire between Northside and Southside, but it was good that we were able to work with them.”
Hines said the same holds true with Manteo.
“I’m good friends with Eddie (Twine), the Manteo coach,” Hines said. “We know there will be some things the same, but everybody is going to have wrinkles in, and this and that by that time.”
The teams have just a few days to iron things out before the season opener Friday night.
“We can’t get happy with our performance,” Boyd said. “We have to take this and build on it, and keep moving forward.”
Hines said his Seahawks will work on getting better.
“We need to continue to work on our endurance,” Hines said. “We need to get in better shape, but also, we’ll fine-tune the small things. We’ll get better at what we do.”