Football is fun-damental at Northside

Published 8:28 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This file photo shows Northside quarterback Antonio Wood (23) handing off during a scrimmage. This offseason Panthers’ head coach Keith Boyd is looking to take a more fun approach to his summer workouts in hopes that it will add to its regular season success. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

YEATESVILLE — A winless season can take a toll on a team, so this summer Northside football coach Keith Boyd is looking to inject more enthusiasm into his offseason workouts with the hope that it will translate into more on-field success.
“We want to continue to get in the weight room and work on our conditioning, but we want these kids to have fun,” Boyd said. “I’ve backed off of drilling a little bit, you have to put some fun back in it somewhere. We can teach fundamentals as we go but we want to have fun with our kids. They came out here and had smiles on their faces today and hopefully that can bring some more people out of the woodwork.”
Adding more fun isn’t the only change for the Panthers this offseason. Gone is the ground-and-pound wing-T offense of a year ago, as Boyd has shifted back to a shotgun style offense that he hopes can be a little more dangerous aside from being more fun.
“Last year we were up under center but we feel like this year we are a little more athletic and can get out on the edge a little bit so we are going to try to open it back up,” Boyd said. “We can do some zone read off of it and some outside zone read off of it. We want to try to get out on the edge more without having to turn around and toss sweep. We want to use our quarterback as a weapon also.”
Just who will be that quarterback is still yet to be determined. Last year Antonio Wood was the signal-caller, but he has since added some size to go along with his elusiveness making him an ideal running back. With Wood in the RB spot, the QB race is now wide open.
“It’s up for grabs right now,” Boyd said. “We have two or three guys that we are looking at right now. Noel Howsen looked decent and so did Malik Slade. Those two guys are battling it out right now but if somebody else steps in there so be it.”
On the other side of the ball the Panthers will go with a 5-2 scheme are hoping to benefit from a speedy crop of athletes.
“Defensively, we were a little slow last year, people got out on the edges against us,” Boyd said. “This time of year helps us a lot defensively. We want to fly to the ball and make sure we are where we need to be. A lot of times we were out of position last year because we were so young.”
So far, Boyd has liked what he has seen from his team.
“It’s been going great,” Boyd said. “Our kids are out here throwing it around and completing some passes and I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen. We’re young and we have been playing with a lot of enthusiasm.”