In spite of the heat, De Queen’s early football practices have gone well.

“I’m very pleased. We’ve gotten in a lot of the offense and a lot of the defense. I would guess we’re a little ahead of schedule,” said Leopard head coach Stephen Sloan. “We have the base stuff in. We can just add a little bit to it every week.”

Sloan, the offensive coordinator as well as head coach, has been happy with the progress on offense. “We’ve got most of the run game in, most of the passing game in. We’re going to start working on screens and things like that,” he said.

Special teams have been touched on lightly. “We definitely have to get more work in on special teams. We haven’t gotten the reps in yet,” the coach said.

“There are three kids who are working on kicking everyday. None of them have ever kicked in a football game. From what I’ve seen of them, I think they’ll be fine. I would like to have one specializing on kickoffs and another on PAT’s.

“We have two deep snappers I’m very comfortable with. We are still looking for a punter.”

There are 57 Leopards on the roster. The coaches want to get a look at all of them in a pair of scrimmages. The Leopards will have a Black and Gold scrimmage starting at 7 p.m. Aug. 16.

De Queen will host Mansfield for a scrimmage Aug. 20 with a 5:30 p.m. start for the junior high with the senior high to follow. The format for Mansfield will be a game for the first half, with the exception of no punt and kick off returns. The second half will feature JV’s with a running clock.

Sloan said the focus before scrimmaging is “just cleaning everything up.” That includes an emphasis on knowing assignments such as blocking rules against different fronts.

“The kids are looking good,” the coach said. “We’re ready to learn what they will do against somebody else.”

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