Riggs recaps TRM football’s spring training
Coming off their two-week spring training period that saw the T.R. Miller Tigers football team practice nine days and conclude with an intersquad game Thursday, TRM head coach Jamie Riggs’ first thoughts is that his 2015 team will be a young team.
“Of all the years I have been here, it was certainly one of the youngest groups that I have had to show up for spring practice,” Riggs said. “Especially when we started, we were missing seven of our basketball players and they were all seniors. At the time, we only had four guys out there that were going to be seniors next year. Certainly we are young group, but the good part of that is that I thought we did a nice job at practice. We tried.”
Riggs said the players certainly made some improvements from the beginning to the end of the two-week period and he was pretty pleased with some of the improvements that were made.
“I think we were able to get some answers of who is going to play where, and who is ready to play, and then maybe of who is still not quite there,” Riggs said. “I will say that when you are this young and dealing with this many folks, especially so many ninth graders, we looked for ones who are going to step up to varsity next year. I think from that standpoint and getting done with what we wanted to get done, we answered some questions and everything. It was really successful.”
For the 2015 spring training period, Riggs said he had right at 70 players come out. Although the first week saw pretty good weather and the second part saw cold weather, Riggs said it was an overall really good practice period and he thought the red and white game was really competitive.
“I thought we played really hard in the game,” Riggs said. “Obviously we have a long way to go as far as blocking and tackling and executing. It starts with the ability to try hard and I thought we did that.”
Riggs did see things from his young team that needed some work. One was the offensive line and others were at the linebacker position on defense.
“Anytime you are young, your offensive line is an area that is going to need some extra work,” Riggs said. “It is harder to block than anything else in football. We got a ways to go there. We are going to have some young guys involved in that, but I think some are going to be some good players. That is certainly an area that we are going to have to improve.”
Riggs said the team lost a lot of people on the defensive side of the ball from 2014, but there certainly has to be some improvement at the linebacker position.
“Our tackling was OK this spring considering the amount of work we put into that,” he said. “We are looking for guys at linebacker. Every year there is that area. We are 3A football. We are not going to have a two-deep roster at every position, so we are trying to find guys that we think have potential to come on next fall and help out.”
At the quarterback spot, Riggs worked Caleb Winton and JoJo Booker.
“I thought Caleb Winton and JoJo Booker did fine at the quarterback position,” he said. “We are in a pretty good position at quarterback considering that Chardian Johnson has played for three years and can go in there and play. I thought Caleb did extremely well this spring. We put JoJo there this spring and I really thought he came a long way in a short time.”
Riggs said that Johnson and Booker are two of the best receivers on the team.
“I think that going in that we are in good shape there with three guys,” he said. “We can use Chardian and JoJo at receiver and it really helps our skill position and overall team speed. That is one of those things we can do because in 3A football you have to have people play more than one position.”
Riggs said now that spring training is over, his team will work towards the 2015 season.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he said. “We will get back in the weight room and get stronger and faster this spring and get back after it this summer and into the fall.”
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