This is the first blog from Sulphur Springs football practice
Wildcat practice, Day 1, Aug. 2
Cool temperatures and clear skies met some 150 participants in football workouts the first day of practice at Sulphur Springs.
The temperature was officially pegging 77 when practice began at approximately 7 a.m.
by the time the first workout was over it was already 94 degrees. Summer time in Texas.
DOUBLE DUTY — Instead of doing one long, exhausting and not very productive workout, Sulphur Springs
head football coach Greg Owens opted to two workouts. Something he has done in recent years.
The first workout was 7-9:30 a.m. and contained mainly individual blocking, tackling, kicking, receiving, offense and defensive drills.
That spirited workout was followed by a break of approximately one hour. Players were allowed to rest, take in protein
like fruit and get ready for the second workout.
The second practice was 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and was more group work with players in their own specific groups.
The first scrimmage is Aug. 14 at Lindale.
WATER- It wasn't as much water as in a Brad Paisley video, but H2O was plentiful at practice. All players had to do was ask and one of the many members of athletic trainer Tammy Carrell's staff would provide, cool, clear, water. I saw at least four organized water breaks where players "got a wash" and rested from the August sun. Many others grabbed squirt bottles of water and used them in between drills. Coaches encouraged the players to stay hydrated.
SPIRIT, LET'S HEAR IT- Yes, spirit was pretty evident, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive coordinator Matt Young and asst. coach Triston Abron were in fine form getting players excited. "This the first day of greatness," Abron preached from under a large straw hat. "You know the level we expect The standard has been set."
Later in a drill was explaining to the defenders how to string out a running play. Young said, "The longer you keep them in bounds, that gives the other team time to dance. If they dance, we could lose. We don't dance, we hit people in the mouth."
Young also said, "We're here to be great, not average. Get the little things right."
Tackle drills, even without pads, were pretty tough as players were told to "grab cloth" and "wrapup."
Young conducted an "eye opener" drill where the players were taught to see what they tackle to avoid neck injuries and missed tackles.
THE BAYLOR LINE - The offensive line, the big bruisers drew attention as well. Line coach BU alum William Blaylock was a happy as a Baylor Bear finding a honey pot. Blaylock chapped his hands together and smiled saying "This is like Christmas. The first day of practice only comes one time." Blaylock told the group "Don't get lazy on technique."
SMILING KICKERS- Sulphur Springs coach Andy Holt remarked how kicker Fernando Arellano make a kick and smiled for the camera
at the same time when this reporter walked by. He told Arellano he needed to be sure and make all kicks, not just when a camera
was pointed in his direction.
BALL HAWKERS - Offensive coordinator Jeff Riordan told all quarterback involved in drills to keep up with their football. "All quarterbacks should have a football." That made drills go smoother with up to five quarterbacks participating in drills. Riordan added, 'This ain't 'The Edge' were catching and throwing footballs today."
CATCHING ON - New receivers coach D.J. Mann was already recruiting players to his enthusiastic techniques of playing wideout. "We will become the best route runners in East Texas! When folks come over from the city to play us, they will remember how we got it right. They will wish they were as good as you will be."
COACH TACKLED - An accidental tackle by a player on coach Derek Smith shook the unsuspecting coach, but did not knock him down. Smith was behind center and ran down the line carrying out the fake for the defense to see. The sheepish player admitted the mistake. Smith, no worse for wear, told the overexcited lad, "Don't worry about me, but we don't HIT quarterbacks on this drill." A lesson learned.
ROCKS THAT ROLL - Whenever players, coaches or trainers had spare time, they'd pick up rocks and toss them from the practice field. The field was called into use for the varsity and junior varsity in an area adjacent to the ag building. Mainly because the new multipurpose building is being erected where the old practice fields were. Dozens of rocks were removed from the field by players, coaches and one photographer.
SO SORE - players will be sore after the first day of practice, but not as sore as they will be the third day of practice. But they will soon forget about that - because pads are used Friday and that brings on a whole, different kind of soreness, coaches predicted.
FIT TO BE 'TY'ED - A special visitor the first day of practice - former All-state quarterback Tyrik Rollison. Rollison is in town briefly before
heading to football camp at Sam Houston State University. Rollison transferred to SHSU from Auburn after one year. The Bearkats just have one quarterback with
college playing time from a field of four signal callers. Rollison is looking for a job. It could be a marriage made in Huntsville. Time will tell.
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