Lobo Football

Coach John King watches over his team during the first day of spring football drills on April 26 at Longview High School. The Lobos open fall drills on Monday.

It’s almost time for Longview to start the final preparation for the 2021 high school football season.

It begins its fall camp conditioning on Monday and participates in its first practice of the year on Wednesday. All its work over the next couple of weeks will set up important readiness for the August 28th Jerry Jones Classic season opener against Denton Ryan at The Star in Frisco, and the many games beyond that this season.

“I feel like our football team had a pretty good summer with the strength and conditioning program, and when we went to the skills portion,” said Longview athletic director and head football coach John King. “I feel pretty good about the work that they put in.”

Once everything gets underway next week, Longview will be actively working to become the best team that it can be this season, so it can have another memorable postseason. That starts with a big focus on itself during the 2021 fall camp and following a great plan for the season.

“One hundred percent of our focus will be on the Lobos,” King said of the next couple weeks. “We’re going to try to get our football team ready to play. We’re not necessarily focused on who you play and when you play. That’s never been our mindset.”

“It’s going to be in all areas and phases,” he continued. “Offense, defense and kicking game. It’s going to be on who can be the frontline guy or starter, the guys who are ready to be the next man up or next guy in the game. Put the people in the best place for this year, as well as what’s going to take place two or three years from now. There’s a vision for where we want to be and how we want to get these kids ready to contribute now or in the future.”

Like past seasons, King has a plan in place to adjust to changes to Longview’s roster.

“Every year’s a new year,” he said. “No two teams are the same and advance the same. What we ended spring ball with will look different than when we show up on Monday. We’ll have some [players] that will have changed positions and some that will no longer be a part of the team. It’s about putting the best 11 you can out there at one time. We’ve got to find that through the course of the next couple of weeks. Find the starters, backups, role players and special team guys.”

“We’re going to do what we always do,” he said of how he and the coaching staff will put Longview in the best position to succeed this season. “A day-to-day plan and grind. We’re going to start and adjust from there.”

A quick development of players will also play an important role in keeping the team on track in 2021 because only eight starters are expected to return from last season.

“We’re going to start from ground zero,” he said. “We may be there for one day or multiple days. It depends on the attention level of this football team and if we feel like we can advance. You’ve got to focus on the little things with football. You just don’t show up, sprinkle some magic dust somewhere, and start playing good. You’ve got to work at it.”

That sets up a strong battle between players as they pursue different roles on the team.

“It’s going to be a wide-open competition all the way through the Texarkana scrimmage,” he said. “What we’re looking for out of our football team is the retention that we had of the schemes that we used in the spring and who can actually do it the best.”

NOTES: Longview High School will face Texas High in a scheduled football scrimmage at Texarkana’s Tiger Stadium at Grim Park on Friday Aug. 20. The varsity event will kick off at 7 p.m. and the sub-varsity contest will start at 5 p.m. Cash-only admission will be three dollars and will benefit the THSCA “Our Day To Shine.” ... Longview kicks off its 2021 varsity football season with the Jerry Jones Classic game against Denton Ryan at The Star in Frisco on Saturday Aug. 28. Follow Thomas Bingham on Twitter: @Texan8thGen

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Follow Thomas Bingham on Twitter: @Texan8thGen

Howdy y'all! I'm the Longview News-Journal's multimedia sports reporter. I have deep East Texas roots and love covering the region's stories and games. I graduated from UT, and have covered sports in different parts of Texas throughout my career.