Lack of spring can’t keep Chargers from preparing for fall
Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
It was “spring” practice only in the traditional sense, according to Don Coady.
“It was winter weather, I know that,” the veteran Westview head football coach said while evaluating his team’s annual full-pad workouts late last month. “We obviously picked the wrong year to move things up.”
Rain, cold and generally inclement conditions limited the Chargers to just eight days outdoors last month, according to Coady, who also himself endured some weather-related sickness during that time.
And though the coach’s decision to move the drills up six weeks or so on the calendar from their normal time frame, the practices were productive as a whole.
“We might not have gotten as many reps as we’d like or been able to get outside as much as we wanted, but we got a chance to evaluate our personnel like we always do during the spring,” Coady continued. “That’s our only objective every year.
“We don’t plot and plan a lot. We do a lot of fundamental and drill work to see where the players are as far as being ready to compete on Friday nights.”
Westview will be looking to bounce back from an atypical season in Coady’s lengthy and highly-successful tenure. The 2012 Chargers finished 4-6, missing the playoffs for and finishing below .500 for just the fourth time in his 22-year run in which he’s directed Martin to at least two rounds in the postseason on 16 occasions.
Seven seniors graduated and there are projected to be only around a dozen or so on this fall’s squad, meaning there will still be somewhat of a learning curve for Westview in 2013, where a revamped District 13AA awaits — minus Covington, Haywood, Ripley and Gibson County.
“We’re still primarily a young, inexperienced football team,” Coady claimed. “Our strength was not good last year, but getting better. We’ve got to be physically stronger than last year, and we will get there. We will be more physical.
“The kids are working hard and we’ll make sure they continue to.”
The coach mentioned a handful of players who showed in recent drills that they are well on their way to being Friday-night-ready.
Linebacker Hunter Beal, who had a team-leading 99 tackles as a junior last season, headed that list. Coady also lauded the efforts of returning linemen Ryne Reynolds, Tyler McClure and Ryan Austin, along with Dalton Turnbow and Billy Killebrew — who moved inside from tight-end. Boone Brown stepped in for Killebrew at TE and looked good.
Void the last few seasons of the workhorse running back that had been a staple of his best teams in an I-formation attack and a legitimate game-breaker as well, the Chargers likely will again have several players share the offensive burden at the skill spots, according to Coady.
“It’s unusual nowadays to have a back who can handle the workload of carrying it 30 times a game because of the physicality it takes for that,” the coach said.
With 1,100-yard rusher Quan Williams having graduated, Coady said he expected Beau Kelly to be a serviceable performer, and identified Ty Brown as “somebody we know can make plays.” Sophomore-to-be Parker Beal also could have a role, with some experience.
“We’ll be better at the skill spots,” Coady insisted.
The Charger skipper put little stock in a scrimmage session held against Hickman County in which Westview dominated, by all accounts.
“The only reason we ever scrimmage in the spring is to compete against someone else other than each other,” Coady said. “It’s an incentive and a good break from the monotony and the drudgery of weights and agilities and the other things we do in the offseason.
“We don’t game-plan or scheme for scrimmages, and we don’t worry about what the score is. Essentially, it just signals the midway point of the offseason — from the time we played our last game, to the time we’ll open the next season. It’s nothing more or nothing less.”
The Chargers will participate in some 7-on-7 passing league competitions this summer, the coach joking that “it’s a better way to condition, to run hundreds of pass routes and defend them, rather than running hundreds of sprints.”
Westview will open its season Aug. 22 vs. Weakley County rival Dresden.
Published in The WCP 4.11.13