When dealing with a young team, inconsistency can be a problem. North Pulaski Coach Teodis Ingram is experiencing that situation with the Falcon football team.
"We still are making too many turnovers," Ingram said. "Sometimes we play like a young team."
Last week, the Falcons (1-6, 0-4 5A-Central) jumped out to a 7-0 lead against city-rival Jacksonville. But that didn’t last as they suffered a 46-14 setback. Once again, an up-and-down performance plagued North Pulaski.
"We played fairly decent last Friday except for one quarter," Ingram said. "The third quarter we had breakdowns that gave me fits."
Turnovers are the main culprit for North Pulaski. However, even those miscues aren’t constant. Ingram said one week it is fumbles then the next week it’s interceptions. Those hurt the Falcons against Jacksonville.
"It’s a mental thing, and we aren’t reading who we are throwing to," Ingram said. "Our young quarterback is trying to make things happen."
This week the goal is work on correcting that area. Ingram said drills will be used for the quarterback to get experience seeing the blitz and checking off. Also, the line will be a focus.
Like the offense, the defense is also inconsistent. Because the Falcons aren’t fast, they need to be in position to make plays and be at the proper angles. That doesn’t always happen.
"They are a young defense as well," Ingram said. "Sometimes we’ll have the perfect defense called to make the play, and we don’t execute."
Although the Falcons’ performance is not consistent right now, Ingram is still happy with the effort and attitudes of the players. Even though losing is frustrating, the energy is coming together.
"We do have to be more disciplined," he said. "We have some kids playing so hard and playing for their teammates because they don’t trust their teammates. They need to learn to trust them."
Friday, the Falcons face a team much like themselves as they travel to West Helena. The Cougars’ (1-6, 0-4) only win was a non-conference victory over Marianna in the second week. Ingram says West Helena has been up and down and is young like his team. However, West Helena does have speed like Jacksonville so the defense needs to be in the right spots.
If North Pulaski can take care of the football, Ingram believes the outcome could be in the Falcons’ favor. That is a statement he has stressed all week to the young team.