Lakewood’s head coach James Lewis was not entirely pleased with what he saw from his team at Sampson County’s Annual Pigskin Jamboree, which was held on Friday, Aug. 14, at Clinton High School.
The Leopards started out the event a bit sluggish, but were able to finish on a more positive note in the scrimmage match-ups in which each of the five county schools’ offenses and defenses faced off against each other.
“It’s hard to say if anything really pleased me tonight,” said Lewis following the jamboree. “But you know, it’s a scrimmage game, so what we do here is just to show us what we need to work on, where we need to spend a lot of time, and tonight was validation that we need to work on a lot of things. We have some good pieces, and we can be a really good ball team, but we have a long way to go.”
If anything is good about that, it’s that it’s only August, and the season has yet to officially begin. The Leopards still have a week to work out many of the kinks that Lewis saw tonight, before facing off against county-rival, Union.
Lakewood showed bright spots on Friday, as the returning playmakers displayed natural talent and ability. Dillion Kinlock was able to break free for a couple of running plays, Zach Tanner did a nice job of scrambling out of the pocket when stalked by opposing defenses, and Jirah Cooper made a couple of nice catches for the Leopards in the glorified practice.
“We were able to play a lot of guys tonight, which was a good thing,” continued Lewis, who is hoping his team can return to the form they were in at the end of last season when they finished the season just one win short of reaching the state championship game.
The Leopards have all of the pieces to make a great run and winning it all again this year, but they have to mesh well together. Although they’re not where they want to be quite yet, the Leopards’ potential this year is through the roof.