So the final game has been played. The season is over. The equipment has been turned in.
That means things will start up again next August for high school football right? Think again.
No, high school football has pretty much become a year around sport. It’s no different at Apalachee and Winder-Barrow. Both Wildcat head coach Shane Davis and Bulldogg mentor David Wagner told me in recent days they will immediately begin working for the 2011 season.
When you compete in Region 8-AAAA, there can be no other way.
“Somebody asked me if I was going to take a couple of weeks off,” Wagner said. “I told them ‘no’ that I don’t take time off. I’m already working for August.”
With his first season at WBHS now complete, Wagner said he will evaluate everything from how practices were conducted to how game plans were formulated.
“I’m even going to go ahead and start making some defensive plans for games next year since the schedule will be the same,” Wagner said. “If teams don’t change coaches then you pretty much have an idea of what they will do offensively.”
Wagner has already begun breaking down the film of each game from the Bulldoggs’ 2010 season.
“Everyone has their own way of doing things,” Wagner said. “Each of our coaches will do some things on their own for their area. I know we have to keep working.”
The Bulldoggs will compete in weight lifting competitions this winter, similar to how the AHS program has done through the years.
Spring practice for WBHS will likely be in May, although if he had an option, Wagner wouldn’t mind doing it earlier.
“I would love to have it in January,” Wagner said. “We are working with basketball and then track so we are going to be missing some athletes regardless of when we have it. We will look at the calendar and likely try to squeeze it in during the end of May.”
Wagner said when he was coaching in Tennessee, spring practice was conducted in late January/early February and “everyone loved it.”
The year around nature of high school football has been the norm for some time. Teams must work throughout the season simply because it’s what everyone does.
It’s something that not everyone realizes the magnitude of. Most do understand that football practice does not simply begin in the summer. However, only a select few truly grasp the hours upon hours that go into preparing for a new season.
There will be plenty of hours spent in the weight room, in offseason conditioning, in spring practice, in summer workouts and then in official fall practice. The start of the 2011 season is months away, but for our local athletes, the countdown clock has already started. Working. Sweating. Preparing. Doing all they can to get better. It’s something to be admire and something that will make them better when they take the field in 2011.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.