Days like Wednesday might be more important for new Scotlandville High School coach Jules Sullen than his players.
Scotlandville was the top team in Zachary on Wednesday morning, winning three of its four 7-on-7 games and tying the final matchup against the host Broncos.
And while the summer workouts give valuable offseason experience for players, it also gives Sullen and his new staff a chance to install their vision for the future of Scotlandville football.
With a little more than two months until the start of his first season away from LaGrange High in a decade, Sullen needs all the time with the Hornets he can get.
“It gives me a chance to see what a kid can do in a game-like situation,” Sullen said. “I haven’t been with them but six or seven weeks, you play a spring game. ... But now it gives me an opportunity to see how they respond to a more competitive people beside ourselves.”
Sullen said the Hornets are steadily progressing. He’s brought on a new offensive coordinator this season and plans to have a new defensive coordinator by the start of the season.
For now, Sullen is making the defensive calls, but the new coordinator is on staff and will take over in the coming weeks.
“As they say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ ” Sullen said. “We’re crawling before we can walk. We're progressing.”
The new adjustments didn’t appear to slow Scotlandville down any.
In the final game against defending Class 5A state champion Zachary, Scotlandville passed for 144 yards and three scores.
This summer is a little different than the last time Zachary left the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a state title.
Expectations were low in the summer of 2016 with Broncos quarterback Lindsey Scott gone along with the several starters that carried the team to its first championship.
That is far from the case now.
Breakout star Keilon Brown is back under center after leading the program to a state championship last season as a sophomore. He’s joined by eight returning starters on each side of the ball.
Coach David Brewerton doesn’t anticipate catching many opponents off guard this time around.
“This is different because we did win a title and we have so many guys returning,” Brewerton said. “Yeah, I feel like the bullseye is pretty big there.”
Brown played the last two of four games Wednesday, but was productive once he stepped on the field. He completed 23 of his 40 passes for 345 yards and six touchdowns in the pair of 25-minute games against Dutchtown and Scotlandville.
Brown is aware of the added challenges this season will pose and prepared to take them head on.
“We’re looking a little shaky right now,” Brown said. “But we have to just let it progress and we’ll be all right.”
The Buccaneers may not have been the largest team on the field among the five in attendance, but that didn’t stop Broadmoor from giving opponents fits.
It’s only June, but Broadmoor is seeing improvement from the 1-7 team in 2017.
The Buccaneers were the surprise of the day, blanking three of the four teams they faced with the lone exception being Scotlandville. Broadmoor upset Zachary 6-0 in the day’s opening matchup.
With just 20 players — many less than all other programs — Broadmoor reeled in four interceptions on the day.
On offense, quarterback DiMarco Nobles was up and down, said coach Elliot Wilkins, but sparkled at times with four touchdown passes of 45 yards — the longest possible under 7-on-7 rules.
“We work every day trying to get better,” Wilkins said. “It’ll show sooner or later.”