The only two Bulloch County high schools to hold full contact spring football were Statesboro High and Southeast Bulloch. While the Blue Devils have to replace a few assistant coaches, the Yellow Jackets are not only replacing some assistant coaches, but they are also welcoming in first year head coach Jared Zito.
Zito come to Southeast Bulloch from Ola High School where he has spent the past seven seasons and is coming off a 9-2 season with the Mustangs in 2020. Zito is excited to be in Brooklet for spring drills for an important chance to get to know his players.
“The kids have been very receptive, and their effort and attitudes have been great,” said Zito. “I have been very impressed how fast they have picked up what we have been throwing at them. Last week we had a day in the gym and a couple days on the field and I felt like I left here feel very excited and optimistic.”
COVID-19 prevented any high school teams from holding spring drills this past season. The last time the Jackets had a contact spring practice was May of 2018, so the past two weeks are something new for most players.
“My thought was the quicker we could get in here and install our system and get them to know me and the coaches the better,” said Zito. “We laid out our expectations and how we do things so that things will be in place for the summer. This may not be a typical spring, but we have gotten in some good work, and it should carry over into the summer.”
The Jackets are implementing a new defense led by Jason Anthony who comes to SEB from Richmond Hill and are also putting in place more of a spread offense Zito used the past few years at Ola.
“I know our quarterback Kristian Clark and some of our talented wide receivers are excited about the offense we are installing.” said Zito. “We are a spread offense, but we are still going to run the football. If the run defense isn’t favorable, we will try and exploit the defense with RPO’s and other things we are doing. Some of our run packages will be called something defense but they are things the kids have seen in the past. So far I think it fits the skills we have at our positions.”
Zito has had a chance to evaluate the talent on the team as they return seven starters on defense and six on offense.
“I think one of the things that stands out if the talent we have at wide receiver,” said Zito. “I think we have some guys with skill and speed that re going to give opposing defenses a lot of trouble. Khristian Clark really impressed me at quarterback, and I think he has the potential to do some really good things in this offense. I also feel like our offensive line brings that blue collar get after you mentality that will serve us well.”
Next up for the Jackets they will have a short break before getting back to work early next month.
“June 8 will be our first summer workout day,” said Zito. “We will go Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We have a couple seven on seven tournaments to play in. We are not planning on doing any padded camps as we are going to try and spend the summer getting to know our players and having them get to know us.”
The Jackets will open the 2021 season August 27 at home against Brantley County.