The Sumter Item sports writer Danny Kelly conducted a question-and-answer interview with each of the 12 high school football coaches in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties, asking each the same five questions about their recently concluded spring practices. Today we have Scott’s Branch High School interim head coach Leonard Johnson.
Q: What was your No. 1 goal entering spring practice and did you accomplish that?
A: I was hoping to get to know everybody’s name. I did not accomplish that; I’m still learning names. You know, just to see what we’re dealing with. it’s a different group of guys, and just to see what they can and cannot do. You know, and as we go along with summer workouts, we’re still learning those things.
Q: Who was an individual who shined for you?
A: You know, honestly, I was not looking for that. You know, the shortness, the short period we had to get to know each other, the biggest thing was to get to know each other. And when you’re trying to introduce a new system and everything, you’re kinda all over the map and everything, and just wasn’t looking out for individuals, was looking to see if they could understand the system that we were going to implement. You know, we really didn’t do a lot except teach. It just wasn’t very active, engaging; not a lot of contact where you could really see who could stand out. You know, they all look good in shoulder pads and shorts. You know, but when you start putting that helmet (on) and start contact and everything, everything changes, so really no one stood out. But, you know, a lot of guys are starting to step up right now as we get to know each other.
Q: Was there anything that left you a little concerned?
A: Not really. It went as good as it could possibly go, you know, being the short time we had to introduce ourselves and to get to know each other. You know, I thought it went well, you know, with the staff and everything, and again, it’s still an ongoing project, you know, as we get to know each other daily, you know, and we’re just getting to know each other. Let’s put it like that.
Q: Where do you need to make the most progress over the summer entering fall?
A: I hope I can get them in tip-top condition before we get there. That’s the No. 1. No. 2, you know, we’re gonna work extensively with our line position because those guys are the most important guys on our team, you know, as far as offense. And again, working with our defensive guys, a lot of us are learning, learning the defense, learning where you’re supposed to go and everything. So we’ve got an engaging summer where we have more time to work with them and everything, but that’s what I look for more going forward.
Q: What was one area or position you feel like you solidified in spring?
A: None. It was none, because, you know, again, it was just a learning experience. You know, you ask me next spring, if they decide to keep me around, it’ll be a different answer because we’ll have had a year to work with, and we’ll be able to put a little bit more quality work in and everything. But this early, going in with a new coach and new philosophy and everything, you know, you don’t get a whole lot done.
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