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Passing the time

The Selma Times-Journal

If there’s one thing high school football teams in north Alabama know how to do, it’s put the ball in the air.

The spread offense is becoming more of a popular trend. Local public and private high schools got a beginner’s tutorial in the system Friday when Clay-Chalkville coach John Holladay held a quarterback and receivers camp on the practice field of Central Christian Academy.

Holladay headed a Cougars squad that went 9-3 in 2005 and lost to Oak Mountain in the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs.

“We’re just trying to give these kids fundamentals to build off of leading into fall camp,” Holladay said.

Success inside the offense starts with the mental part of playing.

“You’ve just got to believe in what you’re doing. You’ve got to believe the technique you’re teaching is correct,” Holladay said.

The focus of the offense is to make quick passes and give the defense several different things to look at.

It is an especially effective one for smaller schools and teams that lack meat up front.

“Because we have a small line, it limits the amount of time we have to pass the ball,” said CCA assistant coach Darrell Walker. “The short passes will be there. We can’t hold the ball for five seconds for the receivers to make deep cuts.”

Players spent all day working on fundamentals and technique with high emphasis put on repetition.

“You’ve got to rep the small things,” Holladay said. “You’ve got to teach the small things. If you don’t, you’re not coaching.”

Although the quarterback has the biggest responsibility on the field, it is not his job alone to know everyone’s assignments.

The receivers and backfield players need to know who’s doing what.

“They have to know spacing and be where they’re supposed to be for the safety of the quarterback,” said Clay-Chalkville assistant coach Bubba Walls. “It does look kind of like backyard football, but everyone has a responsibility to be where they’re supposed to be.”