Como-Pickton set for contact drills
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Aug. 10, 2006 - COMO - With almost a full week of practices under their belts, the Como-Pickton Eagles have dealt with the summer heat and are ready for the first day of UIL-sanctioned contact drills starting tomorrow morning.

"Practices have gone very smoothly, and we have had a whole bunch more upperclassman come out than I first anticipated from the kids that have came out in the previous years," said CPHS head coach Joe Ryzman. "Right now we are fluctuating and we will have more kids coming out, but we are at 37 players right now."

Ryzman said the players have really worked hard this summer to get ready for the season and the underclassman have really stepped up.

"Right now, I am impressed with the team and not just individuals," the coach said. "I am really impressed with our sophomore group that is starting to step up and take on some responsibility and leadership with this team. This is not some 'I' kids, but this is a team-oriented group and they are fun to work with and that is what team sports is all about."

With the team being as young as they are for the upcoming season, Ryzman said the underclassmen are taking on a more serious role and the goals they have set prior to practices and the season and starting to take shape.

"Those kids have really helped us out and we have had a really good look at some of our sophomores that were out with us last year and have matured with us. I feel good about some of the juniors that we have on board," Ryzman said. "I guess I am really pleased with the team effort and the concept of the group. I feel pretty good about our team right now and we have set our goals and I think we can reach those goals."

With the heat being over 100 degrees during the day, Ryzman said the players have dealt with the conditions very well and he is impressed with the work ethic of the team.

"A lot of my lineman have impressed me with my conditioning because they are giving me 110 percent effort, and I am pleased with that," he said. "The skill players are looking good and I have been pleased with the passing game even though our quarterback has not had the pads on and hasn't been rushed by defenders yet."

With the players getting back into playing shape, Ryzman said the team has been working on the basics during their week of non-contact practices and then they will get ready for next week's scrimmage.

"We have been working on fundamentals with our base defense and base offense with numerous scenarios that we will be seeing not just next week but throughout the season," the coach said. " As we start going into the next week. we will contact the teams that we are going to be scrimmaging and see what they run offensively and defensively and start working for those teams."

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