WSN, TRM football teams getting ready
Two weeks into the start of fall practice, the W.S. Neal Eagles have seen some good things and some bad things according to head coach Kevin Jordan.
“The kids were excited about putting the pads back on,” Jordan said. “But on the other hand, I noticed that we were a bit sluggish. Then I thought the last few days, after that first day, we picked things up. The next few days after that were a lot better and I think our kids are getting into a playing mode. We have a long way to go, but I think our kids are working hard.”
Jordan said as far as the progress of his team right now, he thinks they are where they need to be.
“I don’t think we are where we need to be for the first game, but I think we are where we need to be at this point,” Jordan said. “We still have a little bit of time left, but we need to get better here in the next week or so. There is no doubt about that, but I think we are where we need to be. We just need to work and improve and refine and continue to add things because we certainly do not have everything in. So we will continue to add as we go along.”
As for adding things, Jordan said they are taking that slow right now.
“We are making sure what we do we are doing that well and not throwing a lot of things at them at this point,” Jordan said.
One thing that has stood out for Jordan has been the playing ability of some younger kids on the team.
“We have some new guys that are going to help us,” Jordan said. “When I say new, I do not necessarily mean ninth graders although we have a couple of those that are going to help us as well. We have some upperclassman that have not been playing that are going to help us. Some of them will start, others will provide depth.”
Aside from Wednesday’s tragic news at T.R. Miller, football prior to the event for the Tigers has been pretty average according to T.R. Miller Tiger coach Jamie Riggs.
“Last week it was average,” Riggs said Tuesday afternoon before the tragic events happened. “This week, I would think, has been worse. I am very disappointed in the way we are practicing. We do not have any excuses about the heat. It has been hot for all of the 32 years I have been coaching, so it is going to be hot. I am very disappointed in the way we have been practicing. We are going to have to improve that to be a good team and have a chance to win some of the games we have to win on the road. We are going to have to be tough to win some of those games.”
Riggs said as of right now, he does not see the Tigers winning those games at the rate they have practiced recently.
“We have some time to improve a little bit,” Riggs said. “I have seen some younger guys trying to get better and come along. We are trying to get them in the right positions right now. As far as the older guys, I have not seen any of those guys stepping up right now.”
Riggs said he is looking for some of the older guys on the team to step up, but although he has not seen that yet, he knows there are several players on the defensive line vying for positions and nobody has made a move yet.
“We have a few scrimmages planned and some of them need to make some moves real quick,” Riggs said. “We have not yet decided if we are going to play some on offense or defense and it is kind of hard to make those decisions if nobody gets your attention. So, some of that needs to change in a hurry.”
As far as the progress of where his team is at right now, Riggs said he is not pleased with what he is seeing.
“It is not an offense, defense, or kicking thing,” Riggs said. “We are a little further along kicking-wise than we have been, but it is more of an attitude and a work ethic issue right now. I have always concentrated on that because if you do a good thing, the rest of it will just take care of itself. The schemes, kicking, and all the other will take care of itself if you just do the right thing. I am just not happy about where we are and just thought we would be more enthusiastic about what we are doing, but we will see how it goes.”
One good thing Riggs has seen has been the play of Michael Kast.
“He has done well for us on the offensive line,” Riggs said. “He is providing a little leadership and his work ethic has been pretty good, but that is all that comes to mind right now.”
After speaking with Riggs Tuesday, and the events Wednesday, Riggs and the players cancelled practice Thursday and had a players only meeting.
The team was set to practice Friday, but a planned scrimmage for Friday night was cancelled.