Football is a game of will and determination, and in the case of Perryville football coach Blane Boss that entails both mental and physical strength.
Boss was able to fully test both those attributes of his players as they went to fully padded practices in their second week of camp.
“Once you get the pads on the guys start to understand that it is go time,” Boss said. “When we practice in full pads we are able to do so much more when it comes to tackling and it is more of a simulation of a real game.”
While the players are getting in top form as they prepare for week 1 later this month, the same can also go for Boss and his coaches as he got a little animated observing plays during camp on Tuesday.
“I try to go easy at camp,” Boss said. “It’s coming to the time when we are going to start having to pick up the pace and getting after it because the days are counting down pretty fast here, and before you know it football season will be here and we have to be ready.”
Aside from the usual perfecting of the offense and defense, Boss spent time preaching to his team the importance of conditioning and being not only physically stronger than the opponent, but also having a better mental state when it comes to winning each week.
That improvement on the state of mind started with conditioning drills at the end of the day, that included backpedaling
“To win games on Friday night we have to be physically fit, because we aren’t rolling out 80 kids like some of the bigger 4A or 5A schools,” Boss said. “When you don’t have a lot of kids they have to understand that they must be in shape because some of them will be playing a lot of football on both sides of the ball this year.”
Boss noted that there will be about a handful of players this season.
“We will have quite a few guys on offense that will play running back and receiver,” Boss said. “They will be interchangeable in that way.
On defense there will be guys in the defensive backfield that will play both corner and safety. There are five or six guys that will have to know multiple positions.”
With several players playing in different spots on any given play, Boss has made an effort to preach the importance of every repetition and play in practice and each player giving their best effort each time.
“It’s something that I was talking about once we were done today,” Boss said. “In football, each play is about five or six seconds apiece and you have to go full speed, and then you get to rest for about 20 seconds. So, when it’s their turn they have to give their full effort. We are trying to go hard in everything we do.”
But Boss said that can be tough at times, getting and keeping the attention of teenagers.
“You just have to keep reminding them and keeping them on their toes,” he said. “That’s why repetition is so important because then it can become almost like second nature to them. So far in camp I think the effort is there.”
But after nearly two weeks of camp, Boss has been noticing a little fatigue on the bodies and faces of the players, and that’s when they are tested the most.
“That’s when you just have to push through and keep going,” Boss said. “Football is a tough game and everybody has bruises and we are working in the hot temperatures and that’s when you find out about yourself. That’s what I want to see.”
The Pirates will play De Soto in their week 1 match-up on Aug 30 and Boss knows the big offensive and defensive lines of the Dragons will be a challenge.
“That’s why we want to push these guys in camp,” Boss said.
“We have to be quick off the ball and deep so that we can substitute and not really lose anything. Hopefully wear them down by the end of the game. De Soto will be a handful for us and we ave to be ready.”
If Boss has anything to say about it, they will be ready both physically and mentally.