Retention 'good' as Cats practice for first time
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Aug. 9, 2005 - More than two months removed for their last football practices, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats did an impressive job Monday of recalling what they learned in the spring.

The Wildcats hit the field about an hour behind schedule Monday evening for their first football practice of the year. A rain storm delayed the start, but head coach Brad Turner was happy with what he saw once the team hit the field.

"Our retention - this is the best we've had," Turner said. "We haven't had a better group as far as retaining what we went over in the spring. I think that speaks well of the spring practice that we had.

"By Thursday, we should have everything that we did in the spring in our offense. Then you put on the pads, then you digress a little bit because you're actually blocking and tackling other people."

About 100 JV and varsity players in shorts and helmets went through individual and team drills on the soggy field. While the storm cut practice short by about 25 minutes - the team had to stop when it got too dark - it also lowered the temperature, which had reached the upper 90s during the middle of the day.

The wet field also made for a slippery football, which accounted for some of the dropped passes.

"It was not a very good first day as far as throwing and catching went," Turner said. "We have brand new footballs on top of it being soaking wet. But, I thought we did really well.

"We no-huddled our offense with our turbo two-minute drill, and guys knew their routes. We've moved a couple of people around to new positions, and we're trying to get them up to speed."

While in shorts, the Wildcats work mostly on technique and repetition. With several new coaches and a new defensive coordinator (Robert Wallace), the Cats are also getting acquainted with one another.

"It's shorts, so it's really just touch football. Defense looks really good in shorts, because you're just flying to the ball and not tackling anybody, and the offense isn't really blocking anybody. It's really more memory at this point," Turner explained.

"It's like we've been doing it for a month. There were very few mental mistakes that I saw today as far as backs and receivers go. I'm pleased - we've got to just keep doing it."

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