New coach in at Dobie
By Jason McDaniel
New Dobie coach Jim Phillips recently wrapped up his first spring in Pasadena, and he couldn't be more excited about his chances of making the playoffs in the realigned District 22-5A.
We had a good spring," Phillips said. We worked on what we're trying to do and the kids picked it up well. We have some speed here, and work ethic. Coach (Carey) Sink and them did a great job before I got here.
This is the easiest job I've taken as far as trying to come in and turn one around. There isn't much to turn around. I just have to keep them going."
Phillips landed at Dobie in mid-February after the school district's first choice to replace Bobby Cotton backed out. He was at Class 4A Greenville but is better known for a long stint at Waller.
I was ready to get out of East Texas and get back to this part of the world," Phillips said. I was in Waller for 18 years, and these kids remind me a lot of Waller's kid. I was there for 18 year and they were always good, hard-working kids.
They wanted to play and they wanted to win and these kids aren't much different."
They didn't do enough winning last season, going just 3-4 in district to miss the playoffs, but with Pearland and La Porte exiting the district with the last UIL realignment, this year's race is wide open.
The Longhorns concluded the spring on May 27 with their spring game, and several players impressed Phillips, most of them running backs: Davion Hurst, Demarcus Boyd and Andrew Robinson.
Hurst has an extra gear," Phillips said. He has that gear where he just smokes people. Robinson could be a combination of speed and size. He's going to be about 200 (pounds) and he can run.
Boyd has great quickness. He reminds me of a small Jacquizz Rodgers."
Phillips plans on using all three and possibly more in his newly installed spread option offense, which the Longhorns focused most of their efforts on learning during the spring.
The player with the most to learn is returning quarterback Blake Jackson, primarily a passing QB as a sophomore last season. Under new offensive coordinator Damion Judge, who came to Dobie from Greenville with Phillips, he made plenty of progress and showed in at the spring game.
He impressed me by picking everything up," Phillips said. We came in here trying to put the spread option in, and he hadn't run that much option but he looked like he'd been doing it from Day 1.
He understands it, wants to do it and enjoys doing it. A lot of people don't want to run the option. He wants to run it, so he's doing a good job for me."
Sink, who is the defensive coordinator, and Phillips spent much of their time putting together a new defensive unit after graduation depleted their ranks, and Phillips likes the progress they made.
Juston Edwards is a returning linebacker who looked good in the spring and Devaughn Allen also is moving to linebacker after playing on the defensive line last season.
We did a good job of putting people in the right position on defense," Phillips said.
Phillips said Hurst was the most impressive player during the spring, and not just because of what he did in the backfield.
He can do so many things," Phillips said. You can throw it to him, he can catch it, he can punt return, kick return, you can put him in the backfield and he can go he's very versatile."
The most surprising Longhorns player in the spring was big left tackle Zack Fondal, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound unknown commodity going into spring practice who may factor heavily into Phillips' plans now.
He showed signs of being very good."
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