The Ridgway Christian Eagles are doing their best to become a more physical team and in their first full week of practice, the team is doing everything they can to try to achieve that objective.
“If you like to hit people (Wednesday) is the day to do it,” head coach Trent Young said. “So is (Thursday) and Friday.”
Young said Wednesday’s practice was all about being physical and hitting each other.
“We just wanted to find out who our football players are,” Young said. “We just hit. We also worked on our blocking but mostly our tackling.”
Young said he was surprised by what he saw on the practice field.
“There were a few surprises in the junior high and two or three in the senior high,” Young said. “Some I knew what to expect out of them and we’ve got a ways to go, but they are getting there.”
After losing to Southwest Christian Academy in the state championship last year, the Eagles will host SCA to begin the 2013 season.
Ridgway would like to play in a scrimmage before the season starts but one has not been scheduled yet.
One key element that the Eagles will have to improve before either game is their overall defense.
“I really want to concentrate the next two days on our defense,” Young said. “We are ahead offensively, so we are going to start working really hard on defense.”
Young said the Eagles are going to be more aggressive on defense this season.
“We going to put in our blitz package,” Young said. “We didn’t blitz as much or gamble as much last year — being a first-year team.
“But this year I feel like we have some kids in a few positions that will allow us to do more with our defense.”
Young said he would rely on the linebacker and nose guard positions quite a bit.
“I think we got some things that we will be able to do this year,” Young said. “I think this year, we will be able to do more twists or stunts at certain positions.”
For the blitz to pay off, it is going to take a bit of luck and strategy.
“As you know, it is either going to work or it’s not,” Young said. “We will try it in certain situations and more against certain teams than others.
“We want to try to gain the element of surprise and not in obvious situations. We are hoping it will pay off.”