Coach Chad Rogers begins the new campaign by setting up a Twitter Account: @coachchadrogers to update the Yellow Jacket faithful during the season. Follow him!
Football practice began Monday for schools that did not participate in Spring Practice. How has it been going? And how does the team look so far?
“We’ve only had two practices, but everyone showed up in great shape. They were flying around and all have good attitudes. We’re expecting a great season.”
How is practice set up for the beginning of the season?
“By UIL rules, we can only practice once per day and we are doing that in the morning. We will have our first pad practice on Friday. We are practicing about two and a half to three hours per day.”
When is the first scrimmage?
“We will travel to Graham on Friday, Aug. 15. The freshmen will start at 5 p.m. and the JV team will begin at 6 p.m. The varsity is set for 7:30 p.m.”
What is after that?
“We will have a home scrimmage against Wichita Falls Rider on Friday, Aug. 22 at Munson Stadium. And our first game of the season is at home on Aug. 29 against Frisco Liberty.”
What are you doing in practice right now at this early stage of the season?
“We are focusing on techniques and a lot of individual work. We need to learn to tackle properly first. We are doing the simple things such as where and how to line up in all situations.”
How is that going since there is no contact and not much work with the ball?
“The kids have responded well; they know we need to do this stuff and they are working hard. I can’t say enough positive things about these kids.”
You concentrate on the defense as head coach. What do you see so far on the defensive side of the ball?
“We have a strong group; our secondary is outstanding. We have Jamond Wilson at safety and two athletic corners: Brendon Luper and Quashawn Gray. Our linebackers are very good led by Hilton Arbrey. The D-Line is good, too. They are picking up the techniques. I’m impressed so far.”
You handle the defensive calls. Who oversees the offense?
“We have co-offensive coordinators in Corey Mandrell and Charlie Means. They do an outstanding job with our offense.”
How is the offense so far?
“The offense is doing well; our quarterback Devon Blanton is going to be great.”
What about special teams?
“This will be a huge strong point for our team. Coach Jonathan Reed does a great job with them.”
The Yellow Jackets were able to start 2014 practice at the new high school facilities. How long have you been here and how is it going?
“We got here late last week and began the move-in process. We love it. This is a beautiful facility and the kids are proud of it. Our indoor facility (which was moved from the former DHS site) will be ready on Thursday.”
What else is here at the new site?
“We have three dressing rooms, coach’s offices, a training room and weight room. They are all connected to the indoor facility. We practice on two fields to the south; just right outside.”
What other events are happening associated with the beginning of the season?
“We are having picture day on Saturday and Meet the Jacket night on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. We are having it at the new gym here at the new high school. We will introduce the Cross Country team, football and volleyball teams; the band, cheerleaders and the Stingerettes. We would love to have the public come out to support us.”
Now that practice has started, do you feel the same way about skipping Spring Practice?
“Yes, this is going to help us so much more. I don’t know why more teams don’t do it. This early start (other teams begin Aug. 11) will help us get going sooner. It has worked out well for us.”
Graham Controlled Scrimmage—August 15
Freshmen and JV teams will play for one hour with each team on offense and defense; first and second team units. Play starts at the 40 yard line and four down territory is the 20 yard line. There will be at least 10 plays for each side of the ball for each team’s unit before a ‘free substitute’ period.
Varsity teams will also play offense and defense first and second teams for a specific number of plays. Coaches are allowed on the field during these plays. A controlled scrimmage and “live” quarter will be played just like game conditions. Penalties will be called and four down territory is the 40 yard line. There will be a ‘quick’ whistle on the quarterback and interceptions will be blown dead.
The Live Quarter will be 16 minutes long – half each direction. Offenses start at the 30 yard line and the kicking game will not be live. Coaches cannot be on the field during the live quarter.