Brad Chesshir

De Queen coach Brad Chesshir explains some defensive points to the Leopards.

This is a summer of new things for De Queen football. With a coach come a new offense and a new defense. Head coach Brad Chesshir will also be the Leopard defensive coordinator.

Chesshir has been a defensive coach his entire career. His credo is play fast, play physical.

“We want to put the offensive player into a position he has not been coached for,” he said.

Chesshir stresses that the defense has sound alignment. If the players fully grasp the base set, they will be able to adapt to in-game adjustments out of it.

“We want quite a bit in our toolbox. We can reach in the toolbox when something is not working and fix it,” the coach said.

“We will base out of a 4-2-5. We can put as many in the box as we want. There are pretty simple adjustments for every offense we may see,” he said.

The defense has a strong side and a weak side instead of a right side and left side. “We put the kids in position according to speed, strength. Every position requires different athletic ability,” he said.

The four linemen are designated razor, nose, tackle and dog. The razor end and the nose are always on the offense’s strong side with the dog end and the tackle to the weak side.

The two linebackers are called Mike and Will. On the strong side will be the stinger. On the weak side will be the bandit.

“Right now we’re still making sure we know where to line up. We’ve done a little bit of position specific work,” said the coach. “We want to know how to line up, then we’ll get into position specific drills.”

The defense seems to be taking shape from the line back. “We’ve got a good amount of offensive and defensive linemen. I like our depth,” Chesshir said. “A couple will probably play both ways some.”

Behind the line things are less settled. “At the skill positions, we’re still looking. We’ve got some skill kids we are trying to figure out where they fit best,” the coach noted.

“I don’t think any coach will say he’s where he wants to be at this time,” Chesshir observed, not that teams which have an established way of doing things may be further along than those installing new systems.

“Our kids are starting to understand. Things are going smoother,” he said.

“I’m happy with where we are. I am very pleased with how kids have responded. We 

still have a long way to go, but I’ve been pretty happy.”

Covid concerns have caused De Queen to offer two options for students for the fall semester -- in class or virtual learning.

Chesshir is trying to clear up any confusion about the virtual schooling option. Virtual learning students can participate in athletics just like in class students.

“I want to keep doing what we’re doing,

keep the enthusiasm high,” the coach said. “We’re planning on starting fall camp Aug. 3. We’ll keep doing everything we’ve been doing until the AAA says otherwise.”

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