PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

August 16, 2013

Saturday's football talking points

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Some things to talk about while the football season gets going in earnest…



1) First day of pads for Titans



Friday marked the first day that football teams participating in spring practice could don pads. That meant the Port Arthur Memorial Titans could finally get to the business of practicing like they’re going to play on Fridays this fall.



After a Thursday practice that head coach Kenny Harrison called one of the best he’s seen, the Titans were a little sluggish on Friday, but quickly got out of it.



“The team responded well,” Harrison said. “We could have picked it up a little bit, but they were competitive. They had a great day yesterday, came out this morning and got after it a little bit. We’re going scrimmage (Saturday) and that will be our last evaluation, so we’re looking forward to that.”



One thing the Titans didn’t do was go through any Oklahoma drills or other forms of hitting practice to get used to the pads. Why?



“We just go through a normal practice,” Harrison said. “We tried that two years in a row and we lost two starters two years in a row, so we canned those drills. We found out who can hit in the spring, so we just go through as many game situations as we can.”



No truth to the rumor that Harrison simply didn’t want to run any drill that was named after the team that beat up on his beloved Longhorns every year in the Red River Shootout.



2) Right tackle battle



The Memorial coaching staff figured out most of its position battles during spring drills, but one area where renewed competition has popped up in the past week is at right tackle.



Out of the spring, Khaleb Fobish had unseated Jayvon Wright as the starter. Wright played some right tackle last season as a sophomore, but was moved over to defense in the spring. Both players had good summer workouts and are in a tight race to see who the starter might be in Week Zero.



“We’ve got two great young men that have worked extremely hard,” Harrison said. “Both of them are young kids. They both played a little bit last year. At the beginning of the spring, we moved (Jayvon) over to defense. The guy who won the job out of the spring, he’s being pushed by a young man who played there last year with game experience. That’s what makes this competition pretty good.”



3) Familiar name, familiar number



At Memorial’s picture day on Friday, a familiar number was being worn by a familiar name. Freshman quarterback Kadon Harrison, son of head coach Kenny Harrison, wore No. 8 for the team pictures. That same No. 8 was worn by the elder Harrison when he was a star wideout at Jefferson High School a couple of decades ago.



Last year, it was receiver John Leday wearing the number traditionally reserved for quarterbacks. The younger Harrison will be honoring that tradition, as he’s been working as the team’s backup quarterback in practices. Memorial starter Tayylor Labrie is entrenched in his spot and the Titans also have Torian Lott on the roster at cornerback. Lott was Ricky Fisk’s backup quarterback for the second half of last season.



David Coleman is a sportswriter for the Port Arthur News. He can be emailed at dcoleman@panews.com and found on Twitter at @MDavidColeman.