Game Speed Adjustment -- With only twenty or so varsity players it is incredibly difficult to simulate game speed in practice. Many teams struggle with that adjustment entering their first contest against any opponent. That adjustment period didn’t take long on Friday as we came out of the gate swinging and marched the ball right down the field on our first opponent. Sustaining that effort for 48 minutes on Friday vs. Yamhill-Carlton will be our next big test.
Running Back by Committee – It was a great opportunity to see the diversity we bring in the backfield this year. We had five members of the team with carries on Friday night (Alex Barker, Sam Beaudoin, Jaxson Smith, Nathanael Ward, and Astor Landwehr) which is a departure from last year. The ability to hand the ball to a myriad of athletes at any time provides us with much needed diversity in our offensive scheme that will keep teams guessing who has the ball.
Team Tackling – We worked very hard in the preseason on the way we tackle as a team to be more efficient, and importantly, safer. Friday night proved that the work we have put in has begun to pay off. We were efficient in swarming to the ball and surrounding ball carries with several players in on each tackle.
Health – The first contest is always the scariest from a coach’s perspective on keeping players healthy. We survived Friday night with 100% health. This is further proof that the off-season and in-season work that Dan and Margie Leary have done with our athletes pays off. We are committed, and will continue to be committed, to getting stronger and faster in the weight room. The progress we have made as a program over the last few years in our conditioning has had a tremendous impact on our on-field success.
Mental Mistakes – There was no doubt that the physical effort needed to win ball games was present on Friday night. There were, however, too many mental mistakes made on assignments to sustain success over a tough preseason. Mistakes ranged from lining up in the wrong formation, missing a blocking assignment, or not being disciplined in a defensive read. Despite not being obvious to the casual observer, they are mistakes that ultimately can cost us success and need to be cleaned up before entering Friday’s contest.
Nothing to report this week…let’s hope we are able to keep it that way.