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Wishbone Offense

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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 264

Magee here...

Yes, I have run the Wishbone misdirection youth offense for many years, and with all sorts of age groups and skill levels.  Only 2 losing records in 24 seasons.  I like simple offenses that are based on doing the right thing over and over again.

I have a couple of playdecks we offer, which we upgrade year over year.  We start with Easy Wishbone which uses a simple "named" play description that boys can understand quickly, then graduate up to the full Wishbone Offense for Youth, which has a lot more plays and uses a more standard number terminology.

EASY offers Dive, Blast, Sweep, Keeper, Counter, Reverse, and Wedge runs, with Pop and Flood passes... more than enough for any youth team through 4th grade.  In 5th grade, we go to the FULL version, with motion, more tags (near, split, far) and the full blocking scheme... and more plays (Trap, Jet, Toss, Draw) and passing options (Seam, Screen, Wheel, Outs, and Flare). 

A sample of a Full play call is like "Bone Right Far - Fake 42 - Counter 35 - Lucky Shuffle" while the somewhat equivalent in Easy would be "Base - Fake Dog Right - Rhino Counter Left".  I've won championships with both, and with talent of all levels.  If you start with a marginal team of second-graders running EASY and stick with the system, by 6th grade you will be one of the bullies on the block.

Kids love it because they can figure out what to do, lots of boys carry the ball, and it is not hard to win if you hold the ball for most of the game with grinding first down heavy drive. We don't use the option pitch until the FULL version in 5/6th grade, and only when we know our QB can make the read and the toss reliably.  Our line starts with a simple drive blocking scheme (OIL), and we don't start to crossblock or trap until they master the drive blocking "OIL" scheme. 

There ya go.  Great offense, lots of long runs, and even against the best of DL's we still get positive yards... this is not a high risk offense.  You are rarely even behind the chains... 2-5 yards a play, and now and then you bust one big.

Lemme know if you have questions.

Football Director at, the largest Youth Organization in Texas
Head Coach - Plano Colts

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