By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Ask any District 20-6A coach about Bush, and the answer is the same, they have speed.
“We don’t have the biggest team, but we have the fastest,” cornerback Erick Young said.
The Broncos relied on their speed to make it to the state finals in last summer’s 7-on-7 competition. “The 7-on-7 competition helped me a lot,” quarterback Wade Freeman said. “The field is more open and I was able to see all of my receivers.”
Offensive coordinator Shawn Gray thinks the passing game has improved due to the 7-on-7 competition, but now he needs to get the players back to a run/pass mix.
“We have proven we can throw when we need to, but we have some good running backs. We don’t want to force some passes into tight coverage. When in doubt, we need to run,” he said.
Freeman is in agreement.
“The first thing I look at is the defensive linemen and how many are in the box. If there is only one linebacker in the box, we will run all day. If the defense is filling the box, we will run our RPO’s (run/pass option plays). I will look to pass first, but I won’t wait too long for the play to develop before I start running,” Freeman said.
Freeman’s receivers include Shawn Thomas, Dy’Shon Hodge and Christian Donahue, all of whom are in the 4.4 – 4.5 club.
The defense is solid and fast. Up front is lineman Mike Ezuiloh, a unanimous first team all-district selection last year. In the defensive backfield are cornerback Erick Young, a first team all-district returnee, and safety Jamal Morris, both in the 4.4/4.5 club.
“Jamal and I will be on the same side of the field for most plays,” Young said. “We will lock down that side of the field. I will be up on the line of scrimmage and will be real physical with the receiver.”
“Our defensive plays will be unpredictable this year. We will show teams a lot of different looks,” Morris said.
Both Young and Morris are juniors and have received numerous Division 1 offers.
Freeman believes the pre-district season will be important.
“We need to see if our offense can score a lot of points,” Freeman said. “We have a lot of weapons, but we just need to get in the end zone.”
Bush opens the season at Crump Stadium against Alief Taylor on Thursday night.