When we began at 6AM this morning, it was very clear that all were feeling the full effects of air travel and a very full Monday. A few seniors stepped up and told a few jokes to get the ball rolling, and the workout seemed to be over before many thought it would be.
The boys were back in the classroom again at 8:30 to review the major concepts from the day before and to continue to add to our arsenal. Luckily these meetings can be extremely efficient as the team utilizes the online platform Athleon where we have automated our entire playbook. Such a tool allows our classroom sessions to be succinct with no time wasted drawing and erasing diagrams.
Luckily the temperature had cooled from yesterday, and the boys were graced with a nice breeze for their morning session. Cleaning up our rides and clears were the order of the morning as well as some special teams work. No practice would be complete without a full field ground ball transition drill and there was some extra running done at the end of practice. To focus on team building this week, we set a team policy where boys were not allowed to use their cell phones during meals. It has been really enjoyable thus far to see all of our guys interact face-to-face with one another and tackle topics such as the political election process, vacation stories, and quite a few others. A couple guys forgot this morning during breakfast though, so we needed a little reminding of the importance of staying present during this team trip.
In the afternoon that gentle morning breeze turned into 30+ MPH winds and occasional sandstorms. Therefore we kept practice quite short and focused on cleaning up some of our settled team offensive and defensive concepts. For the returning players, all eyes were focused on the evening and a rematch (from last year) with Desert Vista who are the reigning Arizona state champs.
Under the lights this evening, the boys battled very hard for four full quarters and met with a strong result. Playing fast games such as this one against good opponents is what truly helps us develop over the course of the week. While we played well enough to come out ahead, the boys know that tomorrow will be an important day as we continue to improve and engage in the process every practice.
Tomorrow should be a fun day as the boys have a 6AM workout, a morning practice, and then a fun off-site (though a secret at this point) activity that will serve as a brief respite from the grind. Tomorrow night we will play another scrimmage as we take on New England traveling partner Holderness.