Evaluating talent main focus of spring game

Navarre’s football team wraps up spring practice this week with a game against county rival Gulf Breeze.

But the focus for the Raiders has primarily remained on themselves this week despite the fact that they are going up against an actual opponent at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Gulf Breeze.

“We will do a little bit of preparation but the focus will stay on us,” Navarre head coach Jay Walls said. “We will continue to work hard, with our offense and our defense and try to get better at our base plays. We won’t do a lot of game planning and scheming.”

The benefit of the spring game, however, is that it provides Walls and his coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate the talent in an actual game setting and get a feel for which players may rise to the occasion this fall.

“We get to see what players will do against someone else under the lights,” Walls said. “It gives the players something to look forward to this week. We’ve been going against each other so far. It’s good to have a chance to play someone else.”

The Raiders finished 10-1 year ago, a record that includes the first perfect regular season in school history. They won a district championship as well. The lone blemish on the record was a 23-22 double overtime loss to Tate in the opening round of the playoffs.

Navarre will have to replace several players from that team and Walls is confident he will find players ready to fill those voids.

“We are going to be counting on some guys who didn’t play on varsity last year,” Walls said. “Players are working hard to step up and spring practices have gone very well. I’m pleased with the effort and attitudes of our players.”

Read more  in the May 19 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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