Teams tangle in late July campPublished 5:03pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013
With the days before the start of football season down to single digits, Wetumpka invited Holtville, Tallassee and Prattville Christian over for a soggy playdate.
“I wanted to see us finish off the summer with a great team effort,” said Tim Perry, coach of the Indians. “Coming off a break like we had last week, the expectations aren’t as high as they’d normally be, but our guys got out there and hustled and competed.”
The teams spent a majority of the morning going 11-on-11 mixing both the pass and the run.
“I wanted us to go up there and get better,” said Tallassee coach Mike Battles Jr. “I planned these (the morning session in Wetumpka and an afternoon session in Tallassee against his dad’s Handley Tigers) to lead into the fall practice.”
Football season officially starts Aug. 1.
“This was, without a doubt, the best day we’ve had all summer,” said Holtville coach. “I was very pleased. We had some key guys missing, be it at camps or just cashing in their vacation days, but I’m thrilled with the way we came out and competed.”
For Wetumpka and Holtville, this was their third time competing against each other. They’d seen Prattville Christian twice, too.
“We’ve seen mainly spread offenses this summer,” said Perry. “Tallassee gave us a different look.”
Tallassee was the wildcard.
“Everything we do is off the play-action,” said Battles. “So we run our offense during these things. We don’t jump back into shotgun just for the sake of it.”
The Tigers, who run a mixture of Notre Dame Box and the Wishbone, kept the opposing defenses on their toes.
“This is a chance to see where we are going into the last few days of our summer program,” said Perry. “We get an idea of how fast we can go when the season gets here. Do we have to slow down and reteach some things or can we speed up and practice at a faster pace. And the whole time we’re evaluating our personell.”
Having AHSAA All-Star Week thrown in days after coaches gave teams a week off for the Fourth of July, put a question mark on conditioning.
“Last Thursday we ran 16 110s and I didn’t see them again for another week,” said Battles. “It’s a dead week that comes at a really bad time. But everybody in the state had the same problem. It adds a little wrinkle into what you’re doing.”
With eight days left before the start of practice, Adams wants to see his Bulldogs maintain their consistency.
“I want us to finish the summer strong,” he said. “It’s two weeks before we light the fires for real. I want to see our level of conditioning continue to increase so that when Game 1 gets here fatigue isn’t even a thought.”
Raymond Impressed with Tribe’s Work Ethic
“I’m impressed with this group of freshman,” said Christopher Raymond, Wetumpka High’s newly christened freshman football and basketball coach. “With them being young kids, they work hard.”
Raymond is set to bring his varsity experience to the freshman level and strengthening the Tribe’s foundation.
“I’m looking for good things from this group,” said Raymond. “I want them to be ready when they move up to that next level. I want to see them have an understanding of what’s going to be expected of them on the varsity. I want to see them know how to line up and know what to do.”
To that end, the freshman Tribe will run a scaled-down version of the varsity’s playbook.
“I’m trying to do what the varsity is doing so the transition is going to be pretty easy,” said Raymond.
Transition is a good way to describe what brought him to the banks of the Coosa.
“I think that’s why I was looking for this opportunity,” said Raymond. “This is my 20th year coach and I’ve been a head coach for 13. It’s a good time for me to sit back and learn some things. Look at them from a different perspective. And Coach (Tim) Perry gave me that opportunity.”
Raymond, who comes to Wetumpka by way of head coaching stints at Southside-Selma, LeFlore and Sumter Central, had John Mason join his staff after a vote by the Elmore County Board of Education earlier in the week.
“I want to continue to see the kids do what they’ve been doing,” said Raymond. “The work ethic is great. We get about 40 or 50 there every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. If they continue to work as hard as they are. We are going to be ok in the future at Wetumpka High.”
But, when the final horn sounds signifying the end of football season, the freshman won’t bid Raymond and adieu.
Some will follow him into basketball season.
“And I think that’s really important,” said Raymond. “I get to work with the kids, pretty much year round. And that’s a good thing. They have a better understanding of the way I do things and what I expect of them.”