ONE TO WATCH: Jordan senior Deshawn Beck, who shined as an All-City wide receiver his first three seasons, will be at the forefront of the Bulldogs new offensive scheme, which head coach Elijah Asante dubbed Attack the Weakness.
Photo by Nick Koza for Sentinel
L.A. Jordan ready to reload and bite back
The first thing you notice at Los Angeles Jordan’s first conditioning workout – there’s quite a bit of players on the field.
Coach Elijah Asante said that there were around 50 players doing drills – nearly double of what the team played with last year.
That lack of bodies gave way to fatigue later in games. But it didn’t diminish their effort as they went7-5 and earned respect for their grit and offensive firepower while winning the school’s first ever 4A playoff game.
This year, just competing with the best isn’t enough. They want to win and after three-peating at the Watts Sumer Games passing tournament and defeating Crenshaw twice in other tournaments, expectations remain high.
The same murderer’s row schedule is back again (Locke, Esperanza, St. Bonaventure and Mater Dei to open the season). But instead of catching them off guard, they know what to expect.
“[Plus] it’s home-field advantage this time for us,” senior Deshawn Beck said.
That’s the second thing you notice at Jordan – the new track around the field has been completed. The only downside is that the stadium still doesn’t have lights so games will be played in the afternoon.
But that won’t matter becauseÂ Â Â Asante has planned a bag of new tricks on offense, a scheme called Attack the Weakness (ATW) that’s expanding on the variety they showed last year.
“Reverses, double reverses, passes all over,” Asante said, “It’s designed to keep defenses on their toes.”
It’s an expansion of the Wildcat offense that utilizes the athleticism the Bulldogs have been known for.Â Â Â The ball will start in the hands of Beck, a two-time All-City selection who’ll be a jack-of-all-trades on offense moonlighting as a quarterback and tailback.
The 5-foot-7 speedster – who Asante called the best player in the City – threw only 12 passes last year, but the four-year starter is ready to step into the shoes of last year’s City Player of the Year James Boyd.
“I’m ready to work hard and just find a way to make big plays,” Beck said, who listed Washington and Arizona State among his college choices.
While it won’t be easy replacing valed Boyd and All-City defensive backs Delvon Purvis and Eric Hunter, the Bulldogs have experience on their side.
After shining last year as freshman, Raymond Ford, the MVP of the Watts Summer Games, and All-City linebacker Patrick Wooten will also be counted to step up along with senior wide receiver Robert Lewis.
Wooten was named one of the top 100 sophomores in the country by MaxPreps after leading the team with 150 tackles last year.
But Asante wants folks to keep an eye on talented freshman Denzale Lee, a strong, natural runner that he expects to be the next talented youngster in the program, something that’s been a hallmark of his tenure.
“That’s the new kid to watch right there,” he said.
The Bulldogs may not sneak up on anyone like they did last year, but expect them to be in the hunt as one of the City’s best and build on last year’s success.