A few weeks ago, Wise High School head football coach DaLawn Parrish said he “can’t wait until August 13th,” when the Pumas would be able to officially begin practice for the 2011-12 campaign.
The team has been preparing for the upcoming season with weekly training sessions at the Upper Marlboro school. According to Parrish, the team’s offseason workouts include weight-lifting and running three days per week from January to August.
“It’s going great,” said Parrish, who enters his sixth season at the helm. “They’re all ready.”
Quarterback DeAndre Smith -- now at James Madison University -- has graduated and moved onto greener pastures, but the Pumas return several talented and experienced players, including running back Uriah Bethea and wide receiver Zachary Pascal, .
Bethea, a 6-foot, 180-pound speedster, rushed for 1,655 yards and 24 touchdowns last season including 141 yards on 20 carries in the Pumas’ 14-7 victory over Broadneck in the state semifinal.
Parrish also expects Tre Smith – a 6-foot-3, 210-pound defensive end/linebacker and Andre’as Antone-Ford – a 6-foot-3, 295-pound two-way lineman – to play key roles this season.
The Pumas – 4A state finalists in 2009 and 2010 – will open the season in the I-95 Kickoff Classic on September 2 against Franklin – the 2010 3A state finalist – at Hughes Stadium on the Morgan State University campus in Baltimore.
“This is big,” Parrish said. “They’ve got a good program. We’re looking forward to this challenge.”