Pike, Eagles open up spring football practices

Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ellwood Christian is going through an abbreviated spring football practice, which conceivably puts the Eagles behind schedule when it comes to preparing for the 2015 season. New head coach Trey Pike isn’t too worried though.

The team’s first day of spring practice was Monday, but a lot of it was spent in the weight room. Pike said a number of factors, including not having a full coaching staff yet, have contributed to the Eagles’ not taking the field for normal practices in the spring.

However, he’s confident his team can catch up to speed in the fall.

“I got hired late and signed my contract three days after you could legitimately start spring ball, so we are a little behind the 8-ball, but we will be okay,” Pike said. “My first offensive coordinator job, the whole staff got hired two weeks before fall practice and we made a run to the second round [of the playoffs] … so I’m not freaking out just yet. If I can get the guys around me player-wise that I need, I think we will be very successful.”

The abbreviated spring doesn’t mean the Eagles are taking it easy. During Tuesday’s practice, Ellwood spent an hour in the weight room working through stretches and weight lifting exercises that were clearly pushing the Eagles.

Pike said before Monday many of the players hadn’t heard of many of the exercises they’re doing now.

“What we are trying to incorporate is more powerful strength movements,” Pike said. “We are trying to work on explosiveness and of course a lot of these kids will play both ways, so we are trying to incorporate what we are going to do on the field in the weight room.”

The Eagles took the field for the second part of practice. During that session they did agility drills so that Pike could evaluate them a little easier than in the weight room.

“The biggest thing is they are athletic, they are really athletic. Where we have to get to is taking the discipline on and blending those two together,” Pike said. “If we do that we can be very successful here.”

The Eagles are coming off one of, if not the most successful year in the football program’s young history. Ellwood made it to the second round of the 1A playoffs and hosted a playoff game for the first time in 2014.

Pike said 18 players have worked out with the team the last two days,which only includes 10th through 12th graders. He said the team is going to be very young, but that he only sees that as a positive.

“It just means you have a future ahead,” he said. “We have a lot of seventh and eighth graders out and a lot of ninth graders, so that is going to be big for us in the future.”