Pick a word.
Rebuilding. Reloading. Revamping. Replenishing. Overhauling.
Given the context, each term applies to Warren Easton, the Eagles (12-4) mere months removed from their first state championship appearance since 1958 — a 28-27 Class 4A heartbreaking to Neville.
Departures include Deshawn Capers-Smith (Texas A&M), Tyron Johnson (LSU), Darell Clark (Arizona), Devin Glenn (Tulane), Arthur McGinnis (Oklahoma), Kendal Franklin (Arizona), Jeremie Francis (Tulane), Dedrick Shy (Tulane) and Calvin Lunkins (Southern), decimating the skill positions — quarterback, running back, wide receiver, the secondary.
Thus, it’s back to the drawing board.
“The primary focus is getting back to the basics: being fundamentally sound and competing. Once you develop that, kids begin to separate themselves,” Warren Easton coach Tony Hull said after the Purple and Gold scrimmage Wednesday.
“There’s still the summertime to continue our evaluation of the players, but we’ve started the process now. We can build off of that.”
Instead of plugging players into spots of need, Hull has created position battles, most notably at defensive end, offensive tackle, linebacker and quarterback.
“It brings out the best in us. You have to work hard, study your plays and earn your position on the field,” said freshman quarterback Lance Legendre, who continues to battle senior quarterback Tyriek Starks to replace Capers-Smith.
“Right now, I’m just learning, soaking up everything that I’m being told. I’m just studying the playbook and working to get better each day.”
In the scrimmage, Legendre found success passing and on the ground, tossing for gains of 52, 28 and 15 while scrambling for gains of 7 and 16 for the Purple squad.
Legendre capped his performance with a 19-yard touchdown throw.
Starks struggled, throwing three interceptions — two of which Ron Foster returned for touchdowns.
“You just have to make plays out there for your team,” Foster said. “We’re out here competing on every single play.”
In addition to three interceptions, the Purple squad registered two sacks and shut out the White squad, winning 18-0.
Despite the performances, Hull isn’t ready to pencil in a guy at quarterback. He said both players have had good outings at practice and sees no need to rush a decision.
“When either one of them has command of the offense, when either has complete control of the offense, then we’ll name one of them the outright starter,” Hull said of the quarterbacks.
“It’s not so much calling plays and executing. It’s about commanding the respect of your teammates, bringing out the best in the guys around you.
“Once we see that, then we’ll name a starter.”