ROCKINGHAM — This time last year, Brent Flowers was locked in a three-man battle for the starting quarterback job at Richmond Senior.
Even though he is now listed No. 1 on the depth chart, Flowers knows he can’t rest on his laurels and maintain his spot this fall.
“I’m ready,” the rising junior said following Tuesday’s 7-on-7 contests. “I didn’t want to come off the field. The coaches told me to come back in the morning.”
Flowers admits being a bit overwhelmed last season trying to run Richmond’s spread offense. Flowers knew he could make plays with his legs more than with his arm. Now he is focused on being a more balanced quarterback.
“Last year I just went out there and ran,” Flowers said. “Coach (Mike) Kesler isn’t going to baby me anymore. Today I had four touchdowns, last year during all of the 7-on-7s I had two total. I think I’m improving.”
Keeping a watchful on Flowers’ progress is Kesler, Richmond’s assistant head coach and quarterback coach. Kesler said Flowers had a shorter playbook as a sophomore and will get a bigger dose of the offense this season.
“Last year we didn’t want him to lose a game,” Kesler said. “We will ask him to manage it more. He was 15 years old last year, but there will be no more babying him. He might be a little more comfortable out there, but I’m not there yet.”
Kesler added Flowers was able to make positive plays when things looked bleak. However, Kesler is quick to point out he would rather see his young quarterback achieve the success within the guidelines of the team’s offense.
“During spring ball he did some good things,” Kesler said. “Brent is a natural at just making a play. A lot of times last year he would do something that is contrary to what we teach but he would be successful. I would talk to him about it afterward to let him know maybe next time something bad could happen.
“I never want to over-coach a player. Brent just has the knack for making a play.”
While Kesler is quick to praise Flowers, he is also just as fast to mention the play of backup Antonio Edens. The rising senior was moved to defensive back for the first two games of last season, before serving as Flowers’ understudy the remainder of the year.
“Antonio is really pushing Brent,” Kesler said. “Antonio really wants to be the quarterback.”
Richmond will continue its summer 7-on-7 contests at 10 a.m. today with Albemarle and South Johnston before wrapping up the week against Grimsley, St. Pauls and Union Pines Thursday evening.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com