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Comets earn good marks for first week

The first day of full-contact drills is often a revealing day for coaches and players alike.

It was that way for the Halifax County High School varsity football team Saturday morning when the team donned full gear for its first day of full-contact drills.

“Today was huge,” Comets Head Football Coach Michael Roark said following Saturday morning’s drills.

“It’s football, so you’ve got to find out who’s not afraid to hit. We found some kids that hit, some kids that wanted to hit. We found some kids that need to improve in it.”

Saturday’s practice wrapped up the first official week of drills for the Comets, a week Roark termed as a good week. 

“If I had to give us a grade right now, I’d say 93 or 94 percent,” Roark pointed out.

“There are a few things we need to work on. We started seeing some things today. It’s great with t-shirts, nobody rushing you. It’s different when you get the pads on and you get the rush going. 

“We saw a few things, and we’ve got to fix those things,” he added.

“Now, we know what we have to fix. That was the biggest thing about today.” 

Offensively, the Comets appeared to be pretty well on course.

“Our offense is pretty much installed,” Roark said.

“We put the option in today. We’ve got a few more screens (screen passes) we’ve got to finish up. Mostly, it’s fine-tune and rep it out.”

Defensively, Saturday morning’s drills showed more work is needed, especially with the linebackers and defensive secondary.

“I think our defense can be pretty good with the pressure,” Roark noted.

“It gave us some fits (offensively). On defense, the front part is doing pretty well. We need to get our shell (defensive secondary) dialed back in and we’re working on that.”

Roark said he knew going into Saturday’s drills that the defensive secondary was going to be an issue.

“We knew that because it wasn’t an emphasis,” Roark explained.

“Coach Snead has been busting his butt teaching our man system as far as technique goes. We spent more time on individual instruction than we did secondary scheme. Now, we’ve got to apply it.”

That area is an area Roark said will receive some extra attention this coming week.

“To me, that’s where we need to put the most time this week,” Roark said.

“You’ll see a lot more scheme time in practice Monday.”

The Comets’ coach said the first week of drills was a good one from a variety of standpoints. 

“We got a lot of stuff installed,” Roark pointed out.

“Everybody is now seeing what the expectations are. We’re starting to see the separations, the ones, twos and threes (first, second and third-strings) already. 

“We’ve got to make time for the threes and others to learn things, and see if we can get threes to catch up to where we can get some reps out of them,” he continued.

“At the same time, we’ve got to move on a little bit with the ones and twos (first and second-string players). It’s that fine line of where do we go next.”

Roark said he and the coaching staff will determine what areas need the most work and will plan this coming week’s drills accordingly.

“We’ve already got an install schedule that we put together before we got started,” Roark explained.

“We’ll look at that and see where we are. If we determine we’re on page, we’ll keep going. It’s up to the kids to stay with us and not get further behind.

“Next week at this time, we will have had two weeks of practice of the same stuff,” added Roark.

“We’d like to be a little better next Friday when we scrimmage against LCA. We’ve got to be at a certain point before we go out and play Jefferson Forest (in the Aug. 24 home season opener).”


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