Spring football wrapping up

Published 9:23 am Monday, May 23, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
As the school year draws to a close, area high school football teams are wrapping up spring practice as well.
Northview and Escambia County High Schools competed in their intrasquad spring games Friday afternoon, but both games could not be included at press time. Look for full coverage in Wednesday's Advance.
Escambia Academy and their coach Heath Gibson did not participate in spring drills due to a lack of time for practice. The team instead spent three days on strength and conditioning.
Kyle Davis and Cody Keene, head coaches at ECHS and Northview, respectively, summed up their feelings on spring drills through Thursday.
Davis said his team had made great strides in one area in particular.
"The first thing we've gotten better at is tackling," Davis said. "When we started last Monday we were awful at tackling. We've gotten a lot better, but we're still not very good at it, but as long as we're getting better and not just plateauing we'll be all right. We've come a long way, but we've still got a lot longer to go."
Keene was most pleased with his team's development in the mental aspects of the game.
"I see the work ethic getting a lot better," Keene said. "It's still not great, but a lot better than it was. The kids are working hard and trying to be more physical."
Keene said physicality would be the key to next season for the Chiefs.
"We're not physical enough to be a playoff caliber team right now," Keene said. "The kids are working and giving their best effort to try to get more physical."
Davis said the most impressive aspect of the spring had been how much of his offense the team had been able to pick up.
"That's been the most impressive thing about the spring, how much I've been able to throw at them," Davis said. "We're not mastering it by any means, but we're learning a good recognition of all of it. That's really all spring is. We may not be executing the way I want us to until the second or third game of the season, but as long as we're learning I'm happy. The defense is obviously ahead of the offense, that's always the case in spring. We've got about 20 percent of our offense in right now."
Keene put in a bit more of his offense.
"We've got about half of our offense in and about three-quarters of our defense," he said. "There's no sense in adding stuff until we get to where we're doing this right. I think part of the problem last year was that we tried to throw too much at the kids. We're going to keep it simple and not try to ask too much of them, but regardless, I'm expecting big things from this team next year."
Davis said he was looking for a few specific things from his spring game Friday.
"The first thing I'm looking for is hustle," Davis said. "I want to see kids doing the job 100 percent full speed. No. 2, I want only 15 percent mistakes. I think with what we've learned we should be able to get things right 85 percent of the time. Lastly, I want to see the kids excited. The kids need to be getting after it and getting excited every play."

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