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Smith likes Bruins’ showing in Rolesville scrimmage

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ROLESVILLE — After a few days of knocking each other’s heads, Beddingfield High football players got a chance to knock someone else’s Saturday as the Bruins participated in a multi-team scrimmage at Rolesville.

First-year head coach Carl Smith was happy with what he saw after Beddingfield engaged Graham and Rolesville in a pair of 15-minute sessions with each team running 20 offensive and 20 defensive plays.

“I think we’ve come a long way,” said Smith. “I think we’re getting better. I still think there’s a lot more to get to where we need to be, to reach the goals we’ve set before us. But with that being said, I think we’re also in a good place moving forward. I think the kids are still learning and are starting to see the stuff that we’re trying to get them to do as coaches and the more success they have at it, the more confident they become at it.”

Smith, a former star and assistant coach at SouthWest Edgecombe, was especially pleased with his defense.

“Our ability to communicate, our speed on defense running to the ball, rallying to the ball,” he said. “We did a pretty good job on the defensive end with that.”

However, the Bruins still need to work on staying focused, he said.

“We’ve got to improve on our focus and make sure we’re paying close attention to the details,” Smith said. “The little things that we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to do it and when we’re supposed to do it. We have to do a better job of that as an overall team. Sometimes we get caught up in what’s going on in front of us and don’t keep in mind the individual details.”

Smith is implementing a power-I offensive formation, which he said has taken some getting to used for the Bruins.

“They’re working as best they can to make the changes, so the style of running that I require of them and the style of running that they’re used to being at, we’ve clashed there,” he said. “That’s where we’ve had our difficulties.”

However, Smith said the Bruins offense seemed to turn the corner in the scrimmage.

“Especially after this past scrimmage, they’ve improved tremendously,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of good backs that we can rely on to tote the rock and be productive. It’s just about keeping them healthy and teaching them how to run in between the tackles.”

Senior Jalil Hutcherson impressed Smith with his ball-carrying Saturday.

“He showed me some good things with his ability to run between the tackles and get out there on the edge with his speed, his quickness and his vision is not something I’ve necessarily been able to see in a controlled environment,” Smith said. “He definitely showed that on Saturday.”

Senior Darryll Malachi, who plays both defensive end and offensive tackle, also made an impression on Smith.

“He’s a very hard-nosed tough guy, very strong kid and he’s very determined,” Smith said. “Out of the group that we’ve got, he has a lot of focus. He’s still one of those kids, if we can get him to focus on the details, the sky’s the limit.”

The Bruins will open the season at home against Southern Wayne on Aug. 23 but they will have one more chance to scrimmage this week. Beddingfield will participate in a jamboree at Riverside Martin in Williamston on Thursday evening. Smith said the Bruins are scheduled to line up against Elizabeth City Northeastern, Riverside, Washington County and Pasquotank County. The format will be two periods of each team running 10 plays followed by game-situation competition.

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