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Home News-Telegram Sports Wildcats are early birds with 7 a.m. Monday practice to start football

Wildcats are early birds with 7 a.m. Monday practice to start football

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Summer is almost over for  Sulphur Springs football players.

Practices begin bright and early at 7 a.m. Monday. The Wildcats become early birds, trying to win another title.

Anybody who has been around Sulphur Springs football in the last fews years knows that when head football coach Greg Owens says to be dressed and on the field at 7 a.m., that’s what he means.

According UIL rules these are the official guidelines for football:

Aug. 3 - first day of conditioning (no contact activities permitted).

Aug. 7 - first day of contact (with pads)

Sulphur Springs varsity schedule

Two-a-days: Aug. 3-7, 10-15, and 17-21.

(Their will be a few evening workouts the week of Aug. 17 due to teacher in-service).

Daily schedule 7-9:30 a.m. on the field, 9:30-10:30 a.m. break (can eat snack such as sandwich or banana); 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. practice, weights and conditioning.

Aug. 14 - picture day (tentative 5 p.m. - all players, coaches and senior moms)

Aug. 15- first scrimmage hosting Henderson, varsity at 8 a.m., junior varsity/9th grades at 10:30 a.m.

Aug. 21 - second scrimmage hosting – Terrell, 9/JV at 5 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m.

Sulphur Springs freshmen schedule

Aug. 3-9 a.m. to noon, athletes must arrive at 8:30 a.m. and should be prepared to stay 30 minutes after to shower and clean-up. When school starts freshmen practice will be after school, Monday-Wednesday until 5:30 p.m.

“We chose to practice in the morning. It’s really two practices with about an hour break,” Owens said. “That’s for kids 10th grade and up. It helps the players, and as coaches, we don’t like to be up here twice as long and doing laundry twice, this is better for everyone. Especially with all the hot weather we’ve had.”

Owens said members of the team can get the work done early and relax in the evenings.

“I know 7 o’clock is early. But maybe that encourages them to get to bed a little earlier,” Owens said.

Owens said the first practice of the day will be a little more intense with the second part of the workout more teaching of the system to the players.

Sulphur Springs didn’t win the Division II, Class 4A football title last year by skipping details. This year will be no different.

The Wildcats are just like many other teams in the area, trying to shake off the rust of the summer and get ready for the long football season. Last year it lastedfour months, but Sulphur Springs was in shape for the long run.

Owens hopes that will be the case of the ’Cats of 2009.

The coach said he hopes his players don’t have that much rust to remove and that they had a fairly active summer.

“The ones (players) who were out doing things are going to be ahead of the pack,” Owens said. “We encouraged them to do ‘The Edge’ conditioning program and we know that will help them. Taking part in the 7-on-7 also helped us.”

Owens is quick to point out that participation in year-round conditioning and weight lifting was a key factor to avoid injuries. The 2008 state champs had very few injuries and no long term injuries such as blown-out knees.

One of the strong points of the team this year for Sulphur Springs will be our offensive line.

“Our offensive line is a veteran group,” Owens said. “We’ve been in this system now for three years, and we feel good about being in it.”

Owens said the first few days before pads are an important learning time for the squad.

“You get back into the rhythm and everything,” Owens said. “We get a lot accomplished before we put on pads. Kids have gotten stronger, gotten more mature, maybe put on some weight and we find out what they can do. The players are all battling for position, and ones who stayed in shape over the summer are ahead.”

Owens said pads are not really needed with some of the teaching that is involved.

“It’s not really smashmouth football,” Owens said. “It’s more of getting settled in and letting them get their legs under them. I think the camps we have had really helped as well. They know what to expect.”

Owens said he expects 50-55 in the freshmen class for workouts  and over 100 in grades 10-12.

“We could get to 150 or 170 kids in high school football,” Owens said. “It runs in cycles, that’s the way it goes. We feel pretty good about the ones we have out. It’s about making plays and getting better every day.”

Owens said it was hard to predict what would happen. Each year brings new challenges.

“It’s football season and a new school year,” Owens said with a grin. “Everybody has new hope and a new freshness.”




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