Warriors in the midst of two-a-days
Posted By Sparta Live | July 31, 2008 12:00 am
Official practice for fall sports teams got underway Monday and for the Warrior football team that meant two-a-days.
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With the season opener against archrival Cookeville set for August 29th, the Warriors have just about a month to get ready for that opener. The pads went on for the first time Monday and the Warriors began two-a-day practices.
The WCHS volleyball and soccer teams have also been practicing this week while golf teams could start practice back on August 14th. The cross country team has practice on Thursday. The Warriorette soccer team is using this week of practice for a camp with A.R. Richardson.
Coach Josh Kerr had his football team on the field at 8 a.m. Monday for a two-hour practice focusing on defense. They then were dismissed and allowed to go home during the heat of the day, but were back on the field at 6 p.m. for the offensive portion of practice.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, the temperatures and the humidity have soared this week. In fact, the final 30 minutes of the first morning practice on Monday was so hot, the coaches opted to begin practices 30 minutes earlier so as to get out before the mercury rose higher. That meant that the Warriors left the field on Monday just about 8 p.m. and were back on the field less than 12 hours later Tuesday morning for a 7:30 p.m. practice.
Tuesday was a long day for the Warriors. After their two-hour morning practice, they were back at the field for pictures at 3 p.m. Then at the completion of pictures headed back out for practice and finished their day just a little before 8 p.m.
Kerr talked about two-a-days.
“This time of year is always tricky,” Kerr said. “It’s the hottest time of the year and we’re out here practicing football in pads, but everyone across the state is doing it. That’s why we chose two-a-days. We can get in four hours of quality practice without being out there in the worst time of day. We try to avoid the hottest time of the day by going two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. Trying to manage the heat is one of the biggest concerns of our practices. We’re fortunate to have a trainer (Bobbi Severt) out there to help us manage the heat.”
In addition to the heat, another concern for Kerr right now is the fact he already has a couple of guys banged up.
“We’ve got a couple of kids we need to get looked at, so we will have to keep our eye on that.”
Kerr has been relatively pleased with his first two days of practice. He talked about some of the bright spots.
“Our numbers are up,” said Kerr. “I have also been impressed with the leadership of our seniors. They’re starting to bring an attitude to practice. Today, I thought was a turning point. I finally started seeing the competitiveness at practice that we need to bring us to the next level. We still have a long way to go, but we are making steps in the right direction.
The Warriors will continue with two-a-days on Wednesday and Thursday before wrapping up the first week of practice with a scrimmage against Trousdale County.
Kerr also talked about what he hopes to get out of the scrimmage.
“We are looking for competition at scrimmages,” noted Kerr. “These things are not for winning or losing. We want to see the kids compete and start gaining confidence in themselves. We need to start executing our offense and defense, just the base fundamentals. After the first week of practice, we won’t get too complex. We’re just going to execute the basics, develop some depth and hopefully, get better as a football team.”
The first few football practices have drawn quite a bit of attention. The practice field has been lined with vehicles and lawn chairs, as people want to get an early glimpse of the football team.
For those interested, Friday’s scrimmage is at home and is tentatively set to being somewhere around 5 p.m.
One of the biggest hits of the first two days was actually taken by assistant coach, Rick Pullum, during Monday evening’s practice. While working with the linemen, Pullum found himself tangled up with a couple and wound up on the ground, but got right up and went back at it. He laughingly noted on Tuesday that he made it through the second day without getting hit.