By DON WALLACE
News-Telegram Sports Editor
The handwriting is on the wall - to get off to a good start, Sulphur Springs is going to have to beat some really good teams.
The battle begins Friday when the Wildcats play on the road at Rockwall-Heath.
The Hawks have been installed as a six-point favorite as they open the football season at Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium.
Tuesday’s practice under the sizzling Texas sun showed good focus by the Wildcats.
After hitting each other for weeks and two scrimmages, they now can concentrate of a foe this week - the Heath Hawks.
Rockwall-Heath’s attack might come out of a spread, shotgun or pistol formation. But the approach is as old as leather helmets - the want to run the ball and grind out the clock according to Sulphur Springs head football coach Greg Owens.
“They run the ball 60 percent of the time,” Owens said. “We have to play well and make some defensive stops to keep them off the field.”
Tuesday’s practice saw Sulphur Springs going through drills to get themselves ready for the attack of the Hawks.
The Wildcat first team defense was tested from the start.
“Find the ball... that’s it,” Triston Abron, defensive coordinator said. “Fumble, there was a fumble on that play, just one guy said something. We have to talk, communicate.”
Abron later told his group, “Great, perfect, good job.”
Defensive line assistant coach Scott Rozell implored the players to “Play for each other. Play fast, play together.”
The defensive players did a break out to their theme of “Dark Side” as they moved from drill to drill.
During practices the players have a color-coded system of working out. Primary defensive players wear black jersey tops, offense wears white and junior varsity- blue. All wear blue pants.
Tyler Rosamond, a player returning to running back after suffering a broken hand, got nice comments on his play from coaches.
Offensive line coach Jeremy Offutt drilled his group on the blocking sled, urging his players to put in a good effort using their entire body.
Owens said the team had been studying video and also lifting weights before practice.
The varsity game with Rockwall-Heath is Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The sub-varsity teams take the field on Thursday.
The junior varsity will host Rockwall-Heath at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Also on Thursday, the freshmen play at Rockwall at 5:30 and 7 p.m. with two games slated.
The Sulphur Springs freshmen have close to 60 on the roster.
The Wildcat varsity roster has less than 40 members, compared to more than 50 last year.
The Rockwall-Heath team has 58 players on the varsity.
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