For the first time in eight years, the Carlisle Bison started fall camp with a head coach other than Scott Waymire.
Brandon Barbaree, who was the defensive coordinator and Junior Bison coach a year ago under Waymire, was promoted in the spring when Waymire left to become coach at Class 4A Trumann.
Since he was a member of the coaching staff last year, there hasn’t been too many differences being around this team in 2013.
"Other than being the vocal leader of the group, where Coach Waymire would have to deal with kids not being here and stuff like that [it’s not much different]," Barbaree said Tuesday afternoon. "When you have good kids, it’s not a big deal. Good kids are going to do what you ask them to do. I think the kids have bought in to what we’re doing."
Barbaree said the Bison had 33 players Monday.
"We had a good practice," he said. "It was up-tempo. They flew around the field. We were happy with that. The seniors did a good job of leading the way."
Barbaree said the second day of practice is always tougher.
"We didn’t have a bad one…it was just a little sluggish," he said. "We got tired. It was a little hotter. But it wasn’t a bad two days."
Barbaree said his team had a good summer of workouts and participation in seven-on-seven and team camps.
The Bison are the three-time defending 2A-6 conference champions. Barbaree said he knows there are high expectations for his club.
"You want it that way," he said. "You want to win. You’ve got a lot of returning starters. We’re ready to compete. The kids are working to close that gap. That’s the best thing. We’re going to meet the high expectations head on and strive to win at everything we do."
The Bison will travel to Dumas to take on the Bobcats in a benefit scrimmage game Tuesday, Aug. 28. Carlisle opens the regular season Sept. 6 against the McCrory Jaguars at Fred C. Hardke Field. Carlisle is ranked fifth in the Class 2A preseason poll by Hooten’s Arkansas Football. In a poll of conference coaches, the Bison are picked to finish second behind Hazen.
Barbaree is assisted by Jack Keith, Lonnie Roberson and Blake Dorsey.