by Jake DeLuca
Football season is creeping closer and closer, and with time winding down before their scrimmage against Sharon, Armstrong is practicing more than ever.
Two-a-days are a football tradition in which players practice in the morning, take a break, then go back at it again in a couple hours. Armstrong practices defense in the morning and offense in the afternoon, with a break in between to eat and go over the playbook.
River Hawks head football coach Frank Fabian says the two-a-day practices help to get the team into ‘football shape’.
“You can do all the sprints you want, but to me nothing gets you (the player) into shape for football like playing football. That’s straining, when you get done and have to line up and do it all again. The biggest difference (between normal practice and 2 a days) is just the physicality of it, the conditioning part. The sprints are nice, but they aren’t a substitute to playing football.”
Fabian said that this week is “a big instillation week for us, we are just installing our offense and our defense this week and then next week we will cut things loose and let them (the players) play.”
With such a young team (only 5 starters returning on offense and defense respectively) two –a-days are a great way for the underclassmen to prove themselves as possible starters.
“There is a saying in football that everyone (player) looks good in shorts, and I think when we crank it up next week is when you will start to see the separation occur. Some kids will rise to the occasion where other kids may take a step back, so we are anxious for next week to see what young kids take advantage (of the opportunity). We are going to throw some young kids in there (practice) and see what they got,” Fabian explained.
Fabian went on to say that he has noticed one thing in particular about the young players – their competitive drive.
“There is some enthusiasm and there are some guys hustling. What I’ve notice from this young group is that they are very competitive with one another. That’s a good thing because that means that they are on one another, they’re hustling, and we have great senior leadership on this team too. Though they may not have played a lot of football they have been in the program for three or four years so they are good role models for the young kids to show them the way,” Fabian said.
Though the players have dawned their helmets and shoulder pads, the next step happens next week. “We still aren’t full contact yet, we go full contact next Monday, but we are in helmets and shoulder pads. The good thing is now you are getting out and we are getting our instillation (of the playbook) up to this point it has been a lot of individual work, but now we are starting to do more team drills.”
Players will have the rest of this week along with next week to make an impression before the River Hawks face Sharon in a scrimmage Saturday, August 20th.