Rams football returned to the field Monday as the team began working towards improving on back-to-back losing seasons.
The varsity and junior varsity squads hit the field Monday evening, a change from the traditional morning practices that had been a staple of Rams football for years. New head coach Roderick Taylor explained that moving the practices to the evening gave parents a chance to give their kids rides to practice and maximized the participation for the kids in the program.
There is still practice taking place in the morning, though, as the freshmen Rams are being put through their paces. The freshmen take to the field early, then the junior varsity and varsity arrive on campus and put in work in the weight room. After a break, they return to the field at Walter Levermann Ram Stadium to begin learning a new system under Taylor and his coaches.
Speed and aggressive were the key parts to Monday’s practice. Both offensive and defensive units had to learn to move quickly down the field. Coaches implored their charges to move into position and execute as rapidly and as smoothly as possible. Regardless if the play was made, both units spent just a few seconds on each play before advancing down the field.
The real test came near the end of practice as defensive backs and receivers went one-on-one. The play was physical with defensive players refusing to give an inch and offensive players fighting through the blanketing defense to make the necessary plays. Not every stop came penalty-free, but every play was contested and good plays were rewarded with hoots and hollers and praise from coaches and teammates.
Monday’s practice kicked off a busy week for the Rams and their supporters.
Practices continue daily until Saturday. Then on Saturday morning, players will be at the high school for team and individual photos beginning at 8 a.m. Immediately following the photos, players will take part in the annual Blue and White scrimmage.
After a short break, players and coaches will gather at Bel Furniture for a clothing drive. The team will collect donations to distribute at a later date. Collections will take place from 4 to 6 p.m.
The busy day concludes with the inaugural Ram Day festivities at Rudy’s BBQ and Country Store at 7 p.m. Fans are invited to come out and meet the players and cheerleaders.