El Dorado football coach Steven Jones isn’t in a hurry to name a starting quarterback. But that time will come.
Senior Eli Shepherd and sophomore Sharmon Rester have shared snaps with the first team throughout the spring and into the 7-on-7 season. The competition for the starting job appears to be neck-and-neck going into Friday’s Wildcat 7-on-7 Tournament.
“Both Shepherd and Rester got good reps in June,” Jones said. “They split reps at UAM. Shepherd got more of the varsity reps in the Shootout of the South, specifically that Saturday. I felt like he had a better day. But Sharmon continues to push him. The competition is bringing out the best of both of those guys and creating effort. It’s going to be fun to see both of those guys play.
“We’ll name a starter going into week one. We want to see who wants to win that job. It’s still wide open. Shepherd was a little sharper at the (Shootout of the South). Like I said, Rester has had a good summer, too. Both of those guys can make plays. It’s up to them who that job belongs to.”
Quarterback isn’t the only job that’s up for grabs on the offense. But Alex Hicks has taken command of the running back position. The senior was an All-State quarterback last year but moved to running back in the spring.
“We’re going to have Alex Hicks on the field every down. We do know that. He’s going to play a huge role,” said Jones. “He’s played some quarterback this summer, too. There will be some situations I expect to see Alex lined up at quarterback as well, be it in some Wildcat-type stuff or playing the quarterback role. He was an All-State quarterback last year. We really like where he’s at as a running back, right now. “
Hicks is expected to be the leader at that position, but the Wildcats will have more than one back to carry the football.
“The (Davonte) Yarbrough kid has been a hand to throw in there to give (Hicks) a break,” Jones said. “We’ll have them in there at the same time at running back. They really complement each other well. They’re different runners. He’s very shifty. We like to try to stretch the field horizontally with him and then (Hicks) is more of a downhill guy.”
Injuries devastated the Wildcats at the receiver position a year ago. Jones and his staff have looked to add depth to that spot in the spring. Some of that depth could be on display on Friday.
“Steven Tollette, Devunte Kidd, Zaveion Dismuke and sophomore Jackie Washington have had phenomenal summers at receiver,” he said. “We’re really excited. It’s been an unexpected surprise. It looks like we’re going to have some depth at the receiver spot this year.”
The 7-on-7 tournament begins Friday at 9 p.m. with games scheduled at both the high school and Memorial Stadium. The afternoon session is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Teams scheduled to compete include Monticello, Crossett, Ouachita Christian, Smackover, Camden Fairview and Warren.