Beulah impresses at Auburn High School

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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After a week off for the holiday, Beulah’s football team got back to work this week with more camps and 7-on-7 competitions. 

On Tuesday, Beulah traveled to Auburn High School to compete in their OTA. Beulah got the opportunity to compete in one-on-one drills, 7-on-7s and full team competitions. 

This marked one of Beulah’s first opportunities to see its full team in action against a full 11 man squad. 

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Beulah started off the day with a matchup against Victory Christian High School. Beulah also got the chance to face Escambia County and one of Auburn’s teams. Because Auburn was one of the biggest schools in attendance, they had several teams compete. 

Overall, Head Coach Matt Johnson was thrilled with the competition that he saw from his team on Tuesday. 

“I thought we competed really well,” Johnson said. “I thought our offensive line and defensive line have improved more than anything, and that’s good to see. Usually, you don’t see that this quick.”

Johnson was impressed with the physicality that he saw from his lineman on both sides of the ball. Johnson gave a lot of the credit for Beulah’s improvement at the line of scrimmage to his assistant coaches. 

At most 7-on-7 camps the lineman do not get to participate. During OTAs, lineman get the opportunity to get on the field and compete. 

“Oline [and] Dline, that’s one of the hardest things to coach in the summer because you’re asking someone to be physical, but you don’t have a whole lot of pads on,” Johnson said. “That’s tough to do. It’s not a body’s natural instinct to go hit someone without a lot of pads. That experience is helping us a lot.” 

This summer has been all about improvement for Beulah. Johnson noted several players and position groups that have improved tremendously this summer. 

“Our whole offensive line has turned a 180,” Johnson said. “Demarion Foreman, our quarterback, has done a great job leading us. Ethyn Prestridge at receiver is probably our best route runner. He has come a long way.”

Johnson said that he could likely name up to fifteen players that have impressed him with their improvement this summer. The position group that he’s seen the most improvement with has been the offensive line. Their physicality and work in the weight room has helped them to improve this summer. 

All summer Johnson has talked about the amount of talent that Beulah will have on the outside next season. Johnson was once again impressed with the play of Beulah’s skill players on Tuesday. 

“Our secondary made some plays today,” Johnson said. “We got a lot of skill guys that can make plays. They’re long and they can run. So, these things are fun to watch and fun to be in.”

With the full team competition on Tuesday, Demarion Foreman finally got to show off what he can do on the ground next season. 

“I said it before he’s got a great arm, he’s got even better legs,” Johnson said. “You just can do a lot of things with him. Hopefully, we’ll have a really dynamic offense that’s kind of explosive. He’s a great leader, he’s a great person, he takes his job seriously, he’s very focused, and very athletic.” 

With Beulah’s last camp getting cut short, this opportunity for them to get their entire team on the field was extremely important. Some of Beulah’s backups as well as their younger players got the opportunity to get on field Tuesday. 

“We were able to get everybody a play,” Johnson said. “I tell them at practice, get in there and play. Don’t just stand around, let’s play.”

Beulah’s toughest matchup on Tuesday was not against another opponent. Beulah’s toughest matchup was with themselves and the heat. 

“I think our toughest matchup was in our head,” Johnson said. “I told the guys, we’re really close to being a great team. We’re good right now, but our mentality is preventing us from being great.”

Beulah will host another camp on Thursday with Lanett High School. This will be Beulah’s last competition against another team before it plays their jamboree game on Aug. 17.