Bulldogs look for bit-by-bit progress vs. Lions

Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2015

By Gabriel Pruett

The News Sports Writer

NEDERLAND —Larry Neumann is not looking for every mistake he saw in his Bulldogs against West Orange-Stark last Friday to be improved by tonight.

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He does, though, want to make sure Nederland improves when Livingston and the Bulldogs kick off at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium for the season’s final scrimmage. The Bulldogs were thrown into the fire quick last week having to face the Class 4A No. 5-ranked Mustangs.

WOS reached the state championship game in 2014 and is known for having a lot of speed at every position on the field. It was a good test for Nederland, and Neumann and his staff were able to see exactly what needs to be fixed before the season opener against Crosby on Aug. 28.

“The back end of our defense we need to improve tackling, coverage, support on the run, angles … you name it,” Neumann said. “Really, my greatest concern going into the first scrimmage was the front guys and they actually did an adequate job against West Orange-Stark. I am really not happy with how we played on the back end. We challenged our guys behind that performance. Hopefully, this week we will show some improvement back there.”

Neumann reported the Bulldogs offense was more consistent against the Mustangs. He was impressed with how quarterback Mitchell LeBaron performed in his first Friday night experience.

“[Mitchell is] above expectations right now,” Neumann said. “It was his first Friday game action against a very quality defense. He managed the football game very well and will be the first one to tell you there is room for improvement. I was not surprised at how well he did, but it is good to be reassured he is where he is right now. Hopefully, he will only get better in this against Livingston and in games to come.”

The biggest bright spot in Neumann’s eyes was the condition his Bulldogs were in against the Mustangs.

“Very pleased with that,” Neumann said. “I thought our stamina for this early is as good as it has ever been.”

The 23-year head Bulldogs coach now wants to see improvements since the first scrimmage to the next after three practice sessions.

“That is the way it is in season,” Neumann added. “You can’t fix everything in three days. We target the things that are the most important. We keep our focus to three days. We know we can’t get it all fixed all at once. We don’t want to get bogged down with a lot of things because your mind and body can only do so many things in so much time.”

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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