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SHOOTOUT OF THE SOUTH: White, Little Rock Christian face high expectations

by Sam Lane | June 18, 2022 at 2:11 a.m.

A dejected Walker White made his way to the sideline, having failed to get one last play off.

On Friday at the Shootout of the South 7-on-7 football event at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, that kind of miscue was far too frequent for White, Little Rock Christian and Coach Eric Cohu as they went 3-2 in Friday's pool play.

This fall, the Warriors will have their sights on their first state championship since 2018. And while the wins and losses at the Shootout will not determine whether or not they are capable of doing so, it is the repetitions they provide Cohu said will.

So when things happen like the clock running out to end the Warriors' game against Little Rock Catholic, those are missed opportunities in his eyes.

"We're still a long ways away from where we need to get," Cohu said. "We've got glimpses [of it]. The big thing for us now is consistency. We've got some guys that have shown they can make the plays. ... I've got to see them do it all the time now."

Little Rock Christian started Friday's second session with a 28-21 win over Harding Academy but followed with losses to Little Rock Catholic and Stigler, Okla., that had Cohu's halftime speeches ringing across the field.

The Warriors responded, winning their final two games, 23-21 over Sherman, Texas, and 28-14 over Madison-Ridgeland, Miss.

The Warriors went 13-2 and fell in the Class 5A state semifinals to White Hall last season before being moved to Class 6A along with Pulaski Academy. If their hopes for a championship are to come true, they will likely depend on the play of White.

"We have very high expectations for him, so the pressure mounts," Cohu said. "So we got to see him respond to the pressure."

White has had a summer riddled with college interest. From Arkansas and Wisconsin to TCU and most recently LSU, he holds 13 Division I scholarship offers. But he said he has largely ignored the noise that comes with being tabbed as the No. 1-ranked junior in Arkansas by 247Sports.

"Offers are going to come, but I'm just trying to work with my team and work on getting better," White said. "Yeah, I have offers. I have to live up to that but not for myself, I have to perform for my team."

Tournaments such as the Shootout of the South are designed to benefit wide receivers and defensive backs the most. They give a flurry of games for those players to work on their route running and catching, as well as learning pass coverages and shadowing routes in a condensed game.

White said he is taking it upon himself to use the tournament to further his development as he enters his second season at the helm of the Warriors' offense -- a position he said he is much more comfortable with this time around.

"Last year, I was just trying to get the basics of being a quarterback," White said. "This year, I have to get deeper into reading defenses and being a better decision-maker."

On Friday, the Warriors finished third in their pool and will face Oklahoma City Heritage Hall in the first round of today's knockout tournament.

Print Headline: White, LR Christian face high expectations


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