Keith, Dallas County hit the field

Published 10:15 pm Monday, August 1, 2011

Dallas County High Schools Wyatt Sanders hands the ball off to Sheddrick Turner during an offensive drill Monday. -- Robert Hudson

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal

The Dallas County High School football team went over drills and formations as new head coach Willie Moore lead his first practice.

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Moore said there were some ups and downs, which are to be expected in the season’s first practice.

“I thought we were average today,” Moore said. “We had a lot of new kids show up that we haven’t seen all summer and they had a little bit of a problem with conditioning, but that was expected because of the humidity.”

Moore told his players that teams around the state are experiencing the same hot weather, so there’s no excuse for slacking off.

While the Hornets went over offense and special teams, Moore said the main focus of the first practice was defense.

“We did a lot with defense because you’ve got to win your ball games with defense,” Moore said. “I felt like defensively we moved a little bit better to the football.”

Moore said the Hornets will rely on the defense because of the youth and inexperience on the offensive side of the ball.”

“Offense is going to be a little stagnant and a little slower,” Moore said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids on offense and we’re really inexperienced on that side of the football. As we go about, we’ll be a little more balanced before the season starts.”

Moving forward, Moore hopes to improve the team’s conditioning and fundamentals.

“We’ve got to work on conditioning because we’re bad out of shape,” Moore said. “A lot of kids haven’t had to run to the degree and in the weather that they had to do today. Mostly, we’ll focus on the little things, fundamentals as far as our blocking and getting to the point of attack.”

At Keith High School, head coach Harry Crum welcomed 24 players to the practice field Monday to open fall camp.

The team, Crum said, is small in numbers, which makes conditioning especially important.

“There’s no feeling out period at the start of the season,” he said. “People are trying to win. It’s imperative that we are in shape when the season starts.”

Through summer workouts, Crum said the team had a head start on conditioning. But, he said some players still need to become acclimated to the heat. The first days of practice, Crum said, will center around getting players in football shape.

“There is a three day acclimation period where we are only in helmets and shoulder pads,” he said. “We’ll go over a few offensive formations and some defensive alignments and spend a little time on special teams.”

Because the team can’t have any contact, Crum said coaches will use the first few days to stress fundamentals.

“We’ll look at things like staying in your lanes on kickoff and punt coverage and things like that,” he said. “There will be a lot of teaching on those first days.”

With nine offensive starters and eight defensive starters from a team that made the first round of the playoffs, Crum said he feels the team can be successful if everyone gets on the same page.

Many of the players, Crum said, have contributed for years.

“We were a young team last year and some of the guys we have playing have been out here since their freshman year,” he said. “They took their lumps early, but we have still squeezed into the playoffs the past three years.”

As far as the game planning goes, Crum said the players know the offensive and defensive schemes well.

“We keep it simple,” he said. “We run the Delaware wing-T on offense and we do what we do well.”

We don’t try to put in a complicated game plan. We just concentrate on the things we can do.”
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