Bishop Verot High School head football coach Bill Shields leads practice Wednesday at Bishop Verot in Fort Myers.
Bishop Verot’s new spread offense did not have the best of debuts in the Vikings’ spring game in May.
Verot had just nine practices with new coach Bill Shields and found no offensive rhythm in a 48-0 loss to First Baptist.
The Vikings will get their first chance to right those wrongs and showcase an improved version of their spread offense tonight when they take on North Broward Prep in a preseason game in Coconut Creek at 7 p.m.
“We only had nine days in the spring and we introduced it and got the basics in,” Shields said. “I’d like to think we are little different team than we were back then. I think the kids have worked hard to improve themselves. We’ll find out.”
Shields spent five seasons at Bishop Verot from 1987-1991 and coached the Vikings to a state championship game appearances in 1990. He returned to Bishop Verot in the spring to replace the departed Phil Dorn, who coached Verot to its first region playoff appearance since 2007 last year.
When Shields first ran the spread offense in the early 2000s at Duluth High in Georgia, he did it to be different and play to the strengths of his personnel. Since then, high school teams all over the country have adopted the spread and Shields routinely watches film of teams running very similar plays to the ones in his playbook.
The Vikings will have a “traditional” offensive look with two running backs at times but will operate mostly in the shotgun spread, Shields said.
“We’re going to very balanced,” Bishop Verot senior quarterback Quinn Farrell said. “The spread offense takes a lot of conditioning. Everyone has to be in great shape. We are really looking to put a lot of points on the board.”
Farrell has been working closely with former Viking signal caller and current Verot offensive coordinator Josh Vogelbach on the intricacies of the Vikings’ new up-tempo attack. He will be responsible for getting the ball to senior playmakers Nick Vinci and Weston Cole on the outside and ensuring offensive drives go long enough to give the Viking defense a breather on the sideline.
“We like to snap the ball every 16-20 seconds,” Farrell said. “We have a good backfield and we’ve got the receivers to put up big yards and big numbers.”
Verot has 107 players in the football program and roughly 50 who will play varsity this season. Shields has spent much of preseason practices preaching the importance of working together
“The people that have been successful in my 38 years of coaching have been the people that understand that they have to work for each other to get the job done,” Shields said. “If you have individuals in your group, it just doesn’t work. At any level.”
Farrell is hoping the Vikings can put the spring performance behind them for good tonight.
“I just want to see some improvement (tonight),” Farrell said. “We really want to improve on that (spring) game. It’s all chemistry. Chemistry is the biggest thing for most offensive positions.”
Bishop Verot at N. Broward Prep, 7 p.m.
SFCA at Keswick Christian, 7 p.m.
ECS at Calvary Christian Academy, 7 p.m.
Cape Coral at Riverdale, 7 p.m.
Mariner at South Fort Myers, 7 p.m.
First Baptist at Out of Door Academy, 7 p.m.
Fort Lauderdale at Golden Gate, 7 p.m.
Oxbridge at Ida Baker, 7 p.m.
Lemon Bay at Barron Collier, 7 p.m.
Miami Coral Park at Gulf Coast, 7 p.m.
Estero at Lely, 7 p.m.
Boca Ciega at North Fort Myers, 7 p.m.
Solid Rock at Oasis, 7 p.m.
Marco Island vs. Gateway Charter at East Lee County, 7 p.m.
St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut at Moore Haven, 7 p.m.
St. Pete. Canterbury at Canterbury, 7 p.m.
Community School at St. John Neumann, 7 p.m.
Cypress Lake at Palmetto Ridge, 7:30 p.m.
Immokalee at LaBelle, 7:30 p.m.
E. Lee County at Island Coast, 7:30 p.m.
Lehigh at Dunbar, 7:30 p.m.
Hialeah at Naples, 7:30 p.m.
Palm Beach Lakes at Fort Myers, 7:30 p.m.
Clewiston at Pahokee, 7:30 p.m.