A week before North Duplin hosts South Lenoir in its first game of the season, the Rebels tested the waters as they set their sights on other Duplin County teams at the Duplin County Football Fanboree.
The Football Fanboree was hosted by James Kenan on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Along with the Rebels and James Kenan, schools like Dixon High, South Lenoir, Wallace-Rose Hill, and East Duplin were also in attendance. The event was cut short due to weather-related issues, but in the almost two hours that coach Hugh Martin saw his team in live-action, he was encouraged by some things that the 2019 Rebels team showed.
One of the biggest thorns for the Rebels has consistently been their ball security. But things started to improve when the team faced Dixon.
“Our offensive execution and ball security were good, especially for it to be our second scrimmage,” Martin said.
Of course with the highs come the lows and they were on display for the Rebels in their scrimmages. Where they made up for their ball security woes, their conditioning lacked, according to Martin.
Conditioning will come with time, he said. Up to that point, the Rebels only had their full team for a total of 13 days and the only way a team can recreate game speed is by actually playing in games, he added.
Preseason football jamborees are all about practice and finding ways to improve. Martin moved around players who were learning new positions.
“I was impressed with the way we consistently ran to the ball well on defense,” he said. “Our [running] backs were very consistent in hitting the right spots and were good with ball security. The offensive line had a few scheme breakdowns, but overall they did a good job blocking their assignments.”
The Rebels are counting down the days and hours now as they get ready to welcome South Lenoir onto the H.E. Grubbs Field on Friday. Their game against South Lenoir will be held on Law Enforcement, EMT & Firefighter Recognition night. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.