Less than two weeks remain before the Brusly Panthers begin their summer football boot camp, where they will tackle a few unanswered questions.
The end of the road is near for Brusly in its summer conditioning workouts before the Panthers begin the next leg of the pre-season journey, which takes them to Kings Arrow Ranch in Lumberton, Miss., for four days of round-the-clock practices.
Head coach Erik Willis said he hopes the drills give him and his staff the answer to who should fill the quarterback spot vacated by graduating senior Blake Manola.
Top candidates include Evan Daigle and Connor Manola. Both have the potential – yet both are unknown quantities.
“They’re both good athletes, but we don’t know a whole lot yet,” said Willis, who begins his fourth season at the helm. “We didn’t have either one of them in spring because of baseball, so there’s no evaluation there.”
The remaining summer drills and boot camp should also give coaches an idea how quickly a young backfield will take shape.
“We have a whole lot of guys coming back that I think can make up for our youth in the backfield,” Willis said.
Depth may also make a difference.
“We’re pretty good on the ends and defensively we’ll be pretty good,” he said. “We’ll have a lot of depth upfront on the offensive- and defensive-lines, but I think overall the defense is where we’ll really be strong.”
The Panthers will field 50 returning players for boot camp. Incoming freshmen could add another 10 names to the roster after the start of the school year.
Willis hopes the strength the players demonstrated in the weight room will carry over to the field.
“Things have gone really well, everyone is (attending weight training) and all the guys have been working really hard,” he said.
A battle against False River kicks off Brusly’s 2014 slate Aug. 29 at the Live Oak Jamboree in Watson.
The Panthers open the 2014 regular season Thursday, Sept. 4 against St. John-Plaquemine at Andrew Canova Stadium.