Sandcrabs carry enthusiasm into practice
By BY WILL BROWN - WBROWN@VICAD.COM
Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:08 a.m.
PORT LAVACA -- It's hard to tangibly quantify enthusiasm, but the Calhoun football program may be an exception to that belief.
As the Sandcrabs took the field Monday afternoon, they were excited during calisthenics, jogged around between periods, and concluded a sharp first day of fall practice.
"Our coastal breeze is a blessing," said Calhoun coach Richard Whitaker. "I thought it went well. The kids were very upbeat and excited."
The Sandcrabs have high expectations for the upcoming season, but Whitaker has reminded them nothing is guaranteed.
"We actually compared this with 2008," Whitaker said. "We were ranked No. 8 in state and lost the district championship.
"Things on paper don't really mean anything. We have four 1,000-yard rushers, but they all have zero yards right now."
One of those rushers is Daniel Brooks, a transfer from Rockdale, who has committed to Oklahoma, and went through the first day of practice with his new teammates.
"I chewed his butt and he did up-downs just like everybody else when we put the ball on the ground," Whitaker said. "The kids are excited about having him and he's excited to be here.
"It's a totally new system for him," Whitaker added. "He has great hands and great feet and we feel like he can help us in the backfield and the secondary."
Whitaker was pleased with his team's ability to retain much of what it learned during spring drills.
"We ran several different sets and they executed pretty well," Whitaker said. "That allows us to focus on conditioning."
Whitaker will get a better idea of where the Sandcrabs stand when they put on pads Friday.
"We came out of spring pretty well knowing our per sonnel," he said. "We still have some kids battling for starting positions. We want to keep that competition going and get them to keep pushing each other.
"You take those guys and put together your team."
Calhoun has won at least nine games for the past five seasons.
The Sandcrabs went 9-4 last season and advanced to the Division II regional playoffs.
Whitaker knows the road to the playoffs has just begun.
"You have to prepare to get to that point," he said. "We're going to have to work hard to get to that position."
Calhoun opens the season Aug. 26 on the road against Corpus Christi Calallen.