It’s been 39 weeks since the El Campo Ricebirds football team last hit someone with another color jersey on. This Friday, the Ricebirds will travel to La Grange for their first scrimmage of the year, a chance to crack the pads against someone else.
After an offseason full of summer workouts, on Aug. 5, the Ricebirds got to have their first official practice. The Ricebirds got to have their first taste of contact on Saturday with some light scrimmages between the first and second team.
Now the focus is the first Friday night on the year.
“I told (the players) after practice after today, now we’re going to start to get into a routine,” Ricebirds Head Coach Wayne Condra said. “Practice, practice and we’ve got our game on Friday and (we’ve) got to learn how to prepare for a football game.”
In La Grange, on the offensive side of the ball, controlling the line of scrimmage is something the Ricebirds will be taking a close look at.
“We’ve to be able to run the football, that’s just a plain and simple fact,” Condra said. “A lot of our pass game is predicated off the run-fake. We’ve to be able to come off the football and control the ball.”
On defense, tackling was a problem in some games last season and Condra is hoping after year it’s improved.
“We’ve to do a lot better job at tackling then what we did last year,” Condra said. “We’ve to get a lot of guys (to the football), but I’ve seen a lot of guys stepping up during practice. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our guy’s lineup against someone else.”
The Ricebird defense will see a multitude of runners Friday night, with La Grange returning a core of runners that helped them eclipse over 1,500 yards last season.
After La Grange, there is only one scrimmage left when Sweeny comes to Ricebird stadium next Thursday, Aug. 22.
The Louise Hornets will see someone else this Friday when they head to Industrial to take part in a tri-scrimmage.
The scrimmage will be a tough test for the Hornets as they’ll take on two 3A teams who both made the playoffs last season in Industrial and Tidehaven. This will be new Head Coach Joe Bill’s first chance to call plays and see how his team is taking to his new style of play.
The Hornets next week will get someone closer to their own size when they travel to Yorktown for their final scrimmage of the year.