Carlisle finished its second set of spring football drills under Mark Uhiren last week, and he pronounced the work a success.
The Bison got through eight days of work, missing a couple — including the finishing scrimmage — because of weather.
“One thing I was trying to see was how much they’d retained,” said Uhiren, who installed a new system for 2016 as the Bison finished 7-5. “I was pleased with that. They seemed like they had retained quite a bit, so we did get to add a little bit.
“The other thing is we’re trying to figure out the maturity. We lost all those seniors that were veteran players, and we’ve got a whole bunch of new guys coming in.”
After graduating 12 seniors off last year’s squad, the Bison will have just five seniors among the 24 on their roster.
Uhiren praised Mitch Lewis as the leader of the seniors.
“We moved him from a 2 technique on defense to inside linebacker, and that seemed like it charged him and energized him a little bit,” he said. “He still has tons of things to learn, but he seemed pretty good. Even though we moved him only three or four feet from where he was, that’s a huge difference.”
Dylan Nichols, also a rising senior, was impressive at tight end/defensive end.
“He’s just steady Eddie,” Uhiren said. “He’s not flashy or anything. I think Ian Seidenschwarz is going to be a real contributor as a 10th grader. It looks like (rising junior) Braiden Jenkins is going to be our quarterback for sure. He’d retained way more than anything I’d anticipated. And we had a couple of ninth graders, twins D. Allen, who worked at linebacker along with Mitch, and J. Allen, who really exploded in the weight room.”
The Bison, who were to finish the school year Wednesday, will have their parent meeting at the high school cafeteria Thursday at 6 p.m. They’ll begin summer work June 5.
Overall, Uhiren said he was much more confident following spring work than he was a year ago.
“At first you’re scared of a lot of things,” he said of returning to take over the helm of his alma mater. “You don’t know the kids. They’re trying to learn you; they’re trying to learn the system. I was real proud of those kids last year. I got a kick out of coaching them.
“As coaches, this year we have to develop the leadership, and I think the parents will be a huge part of keeping the morale up. We’re looking for solid help in making them accountable for what’s going on.”