WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – We’re only a few weeks away from the start of fall sports practices for high school football teams, but many teams in the area have been working hard over the summer to get an early start on what’s to come. winter
With less than a month before the start of the high school football season, the area team gets extra work in before the fall sports practice begins with a camp, like this one at Watertown High where the Cyclones and Indian River Warriors are on the turf.
Coaches say this camp is important for them and the players.
“It’s really important to come out here every week and really get to know these guys from JV. It’s a learning experience for us and them as well because of where to try to figure out where these kids fit in,” said Watertown Football Coach Kyle LaLonde.
“It’s really important for our kids to have a baseline of what we want to do throughout the season. It just gives everyone a jump. Get a little excitement about football going on as well,” Indian River Football Coach Cory Marsell said.
It’s also a chance to get back into football shape, with older players refining their skills and refreshing their memory of the playbook, and younger players getting their first taste of varsity football.
“We want the shole team to work together as an engine, as a family so we can come together,” Watertown senior Tristin Clifford said.
“Oh, it’s really important. It’s important for us to get this started because we have a lot of challenges this year. We want to get into the right headspace before we have to fight anybody,” Watertown senior Tayvon Johnson said.
“We just have to work on our discipline and make sure our minds are ready for this season because it’s a long trip,” Watertown senior Sixto Quiles said.
“Get all the guys out here. Get them ready, get them ready for the season, get more experience for the young guys, bring it all together,” Indian River junior Brady Lynch said.
“It’s getting everybody back into shape, back into the football mind, bringing our friends together. You know, getting in shape, getting stronger for the season,” Indian River junior Connor McMahon said.
While it’s called passing camp, the coaches say they work on all aspects of the game with their players, so they can jump right into game preparation when fall practice takes place.
“Mainly work on just skills like proper stances, proper starts, proper techniques to run our routes, proper throwing techniques for our quarterbacks, different formations,” said LaLonde.
“Just your basics. You want to know the basic coverage. Also, you get the opportunity to see their athleticism and put them in a good position,” Marsell said.
Putting in the work during the dog days of summer to have success in the upcoming high school football season.
The first-place Watertown Red and Black open the home portion of the 2022 Empire Football League schedule Saturday night at George Ashcraft Field, where they host the Plattsburgh Northstars. Kickoff is set for 7 PM.
This is a good opportunity for fans to check out the team, with free admission to the game thanks to FX Caprara.
This is the first meeting between the 2 teams this season and it is a battle of 2 rivals.
Playing Plattsburgh is something Ashcraft looks forward to every season.
“Oh, that’s for sure, you know, since 1991. We’ve had- It’s about a 50/50 split in wins and losses, really. We’ve won a lot of big games, but so have they. It’s a rivalry. It’s also a friendly rivalry that good. It never gets annoying where, you know, you don’t like people. That’s what makes it interesting,” said George Ashcraft.
As S.U. The football team continues to fall camp, one of the main focus points for the team’s success this season on the offensive line.
Injuries and lack of depth have hurt Syracuse the past few seasons, but last year there were some bright spots with the line opening holes for Sean Tucker en route to nearly 1,500 yards rushing.
The big weakness in 2021 for the o-line is pass protection, allowing 33 sacks.
This season, the Orange will want to change that.
“More consistency than last year. I think we did a good job in the run game, but we gotta do better in the pass game, pass protection. I don’t know where we are right now, but I think we’re a little bit lower in the rankings, so we have to do better ,” Offensive Lineman Matthew Bergeron said.
“We haven’t had a stable offensive line since, you know when, and I won’t present it. It’s frustrating for me and it will be God. I mean, it’s not like someone did something wrong, but if this is the season where it all works and we can keep the top 7 guys there, let’s go. I don’t say 5 if I can only play with 7,” said Coach Dino Babers.
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