The Panther football team wrapped up two weeks of spring practice Friday afternoon with its Black and Gold Scrimmage at Donell Woods Stadium.
Liberty County High School football coach Kirk Warner said the game’s emphasis was to break down plays learned over the past two weeks, and he asked his players for 100 percent effort.
“We were coaching on effort today. … We are going to make mistakes but just play wide open,” he said.
Incoming sophomore standout Richard LeCounte once again exhibited versatility as an all-around athlete by taking snaps under center as the Black team’s quarterback.
LeCounte primarily served as a defensive safety and kick-return player last year. During the season, he returned five interceptions for 154 yards, returned 19 punts for 324 yards and returned 17 kickoffs for 419 yards last year. He also tallied 99 tackles.
On the offensive side of the ball last season, LeCounte primarily served as a wide receiver and running back. He caught 11 passes for 203 yards and carried the ball 21 times for 192 yards.
Gold team quarterback Jaalon Frazier surprised a few onlookers.
“Jaalon, overall, had a good spring,” Panther offensive coordinator Ryan Glazer said. “He showed us that he is ready to take his game to the next level. He needs to work on making better reads and decisions. … This summer will be a lot of learning for him.”
Glazer said former Panther quarterback Julian Stokes just graduated from Georgia State University and has been hired as LCHS’ new quarterback coach. The Panthers also brought on former Bradwell Institute quarterback coach Frank Troup. He primarily will work with the defensive backs but also will provide knowledge and insight to the quarterbacks as needed.
Warner said Frazier and quarterback Michael Moore are vying for the starting quarterback spot. Moore didn’t scrimmage due to a hand injury that will require at least six weeks to heal.
LeCounte will see some time as a quarterback this season, the coach said.
“We will try and use Richard about 40 percent of the time, but I am definitely not going to use him full-time both ways,” Warner said.
He said there were several younger players who impressed him, and Glazer agreed that freshman quarterback Aaron Kuhl, freshman running back Carson Coppet and freshman offensive lineman Frank LeCounte stood out. Additionally, senior running back Chris Helvie displayed speed.
“Chris Helvie is very sudden and quick. He just has to get what we call ‘a little football sense ...’” Warner said. “He and Jarquel Richardson have some speed to burn, and I am anxious to see what they are going to do once the season starts.”
Glazer said their skilled offensive players will take pressure off the quarterback.
“JaMarques Latson, LeCounte, Jacquez Williams, Gyri Durant, Helvie and Jarquel Richardson will be expected to make big impacts in our offense,” he said.
Defensively, Warner said they made some moves after five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan graduated.
“We switched Jacari Roberts. We had him playing inside tackle last year, and now we moved him to a more natural spot for him at defensive end,” Warner said. “Calvin Holmes is looking outstanding, and we moved him from inside linebacker to outside to let him use his athleticism. We put Joaquin Lemapu and Jeremiah Gilbert — two big bodies — on the inside and I think that is going to work out for us.”
Liberty will host South Effingham in a pre-season scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15.