- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
With the first week of practice behind it, the Halifax County High School football team will take another step forward today, moving to full-contact drills. Players will don full pads today as they kick off the first of three days of two-a-day workouts. Head Coach Dave Wojtecki feels his team is ready for its first day of full-contact drills.
“I think the older guys will be ready,” Wojtecki said.
“The other guys have never had to go through camp. Last year we practiced the younger guys in the morning and sent them home. I feel like the older guys will be fine and will be ready to go. For the other guys, Monday’s full contact is going to be a little bit of a culture shock because they haven’t had to push like this before.”
Comets players donned shoulder pads Wednesday and worked out in helmets and shoulder pads in two-a-day workouts the last three days of last week.
Wojtecki said the players’ reaction to the double workouts in helmets and shoulder pads got better as the week progressed. He expects the same to happen this week as players don full gear.
“The new feeling of the pads causes a little bit of a mental loss because they sometimes get to thinking more about that and sometimes being uncomfortable than what it is they should be doing,” Wojtecki explained.
“Once they get used to it, they should be fine. We’re looking forward to getting after it a little bit on Monday. We’ll be doing a lot of full-collision, full-tackling drills on Monday.”
Not only will this be a big week for the players in terms of starting full-contact drills, this will be a big week in terms of evaluation of players by the coaching staff.
“Monday and Tuesday are going to be very big for setting groups,” Wojtecki said.
“When we scrimmage (Friday), we’re going to try to get everybody into the game. Sometimes it doesn’t happen because we’re trying to develop the team that we’re going to put on the field. But, everybody is going to get evaluated.
“After that first scrimmage we’ll have a little better idea of what we’ve got, first string, second string,” he added.
“Then, after the second one (scrimmage), we’ve got to figure out who we’re going to go into the season with.”
As far as the team’s progress with the offensive and defensive playbooks is concerned, Wojtecki said it has been somewhat slow.
“We’ve been having a lot of chalkboard time, a lot of drawing plays and going through plays between the morning and afternoon practices,” Wojtecki pointed out.
“As long as we keep repping it, I think we’ll be alright. We have another week before we strap it up against somebody else. Hopefully we will have everything in and ready to go. If we don’t, we’ll do what we do well and then come back to something else if we need to get it in.”
Wojtecki said a lot of time will be spent this week going over all facets of the offense, defense and special teams.
“We’ll keep repping it until they’re doing it in their sleep,” said Wojtecki.
“We want to do it so much that they can remember their movements to the point that it’s second nature and all they have to do is react. Right now, we’re a little slow because we’re thinking. Once it’s all repped in, we’ll get the speed up and then we’ll start flying around.”
As far as the first week of practice was concerned, Wojtecki said it had been a pretty good week.
“The kids are pushing,” Wojtecki pointed out.
“Their bodies are tired. With two-a-days you’re going to get a little banged up when you’re starting to hit. We’re starting to separate the guys that want to hit from the guys that are going to shy away from that. We’re learning a lot about our team right now.”
In an overall sense, Wojtecki says the team is a little ahead of where it was at this point last season.
“We’re getting some guys nicked up a little bit, but we haven’t had any major problems yet,” he noted.
“Last year injuries were a huge issue early. I think it’s been a lot better. The kids are doing a great job of learning what they’re supposed to learn.”