Smaller schools focus on fundamentals
Sept. 12, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.
Football is a numbers game.
It's not only the score and stats but also the pool of players that a coach can pull from.
For many Crossroads 1A football teams, players have to work hard on both offensive and defensive lines.
Coaches cite fatigue and inexperience for many of the errors in their first two games but are optimistic going into the rest of the season.
Besides Woodsboro and Runge the other six 1A schools have a 1-1 record going into week two.
With a strong group of seniors on the field, Woodsboro coach Wade Miller said that trying people at new positions has worked in the team's favor.
"We're doing really well for this early in the season," Miller said. "We have 13 seniors, which is kind of what we expect every year."
Woodsboro won its first game of the season against Bloomington, 41-31, and continued its success with a 34-0 shutout against Leakey last week.
"My quarterbacks played really well, especially Lionel Brown," he said. "This is his first year to play quarterback, and for him to be learning the position and have 260 yards rushing in two games and near the same in passing is impressive."
Brown's athleticism has helped put Woodsboro in the position to make important plays, Miller said.
Going into Friday's game against Santa Gertrudis Academy, Miller is excited for the at-home advantage.
"The kids are used to being here, and we usually have a pretty good crowd - we have really good fans," he said.
With a 1-1 record for the season, Ganado coach Jimmy Thompson doesn't focus on statistics this early.
"We've done some good things and some other things that aren't that good that we need to improve on a daily basis," Thompson said. "It's about getting better week by week by week."
Running back Clay Vesely was sorely missed in the Indians first game against Hallettsville, where they lost 43-6. The senior was hurt in a preseason scrimmage.
The Indians were back in action last week when they beat Industrial 34-7.
"(Vesely) scored the first two times he touched the ball; he scored three touchdowns in the first six minutes of the ballgame," Thompson said. "It set a great tone for the rest of the night."
As for the team's Friday game against Van Vleck, there are still kinks to smooth out offensively and defensively.
"At our level, we have to play ourselves into shape; you get the kids who play both ways, and we don't get the practice time that the 4A and 5A schools get," Thompson said.
With six or seven players playing both sides and two seniors out for the season because of injuries, Thompson said it's best to focus on fundamentals.
"We're like most small class 1A teams - we don't have the depth, and if someone gets hurt, we're looking for volunteers sometimes," he said.
In the five years since coach Lin Havron has been at Kenedy, the football program has gone from a 0-28 to making the playoffs twice.
Even though the Lions lost to Karnes City in week zero, Havron is proud of his players' performance.
"The first few games are where you build your biggest improvements in the year and build on that momentum for the whole season," Havron said.
All six seniors on the team are playing both lines, he said, with the younger players alternating in.
"We only carry 20 on our varsity roster, so depth is always a factor for us," he said. "It's definitely ironman football - they get a chance to play at this level like no other level."
Kenedy has proved that it can improve upon its first-half performance (the Lions were up 6-0 at halftime against Pettus and ended up winning 35-6), but Havron would like to see them get started earlier.
Kenedy will play Skidmore-Tynan on Friday.
Flatonia coach Chris Freytag said that his team greatly improved between its first and second game.
The Bulldogs lost to Nixon-Smiley, 28-14, but beat Sacred Heart last week, 21-0.
"The young kids are really starting to come along - they're getting the checks and the plays that we run," Freytag said. "They're smart kids, and they work hard, and they're going to continue to get better."