Mineral Wells Index
By TONY EIERDAM
Summer time is not “dead” time for high school football players, who compete in 7-on-7 games, lift weights and run through a conditioning program.
The quarterbacks, running backs and receivers also stay busy as they meet almost nightly to go over pass patterns, precision routes and such.
The summer is also well spent for the coaches, who do get some time off but also prepare for the upcoming football season.
Mineral Wells Rams head football coach Chuck Lawrence has had an added duty thrust upon him this summer with the hiring of two new coaches to the football staff and the promotion of assistant coach Neil Mesler to defensive coordinator. Mesler replaces Chad Barron, who left to become head football coach at his hometown of Baird.
“We have been hampered a little this year because we have been hiring coaches to fill our staff,” Lawrence said. “We have about got our varsity staff finished, but we are still working on filling positions at the junior high.
“In the summer, each coach has a week monitoring the weight room, and we have had about 30 percent of our kids show up, which is about normal in the summer. A lot of kids are working, and sometimes our attendance in the weight room has been affected by families taking vacations.
But as a staff, we pretty much take the summer off except for the week each coach has in the weight room and at various camps.”
Lawrence said the coaches will go to the annual coaching school – this year in Fort Worth from July 28-31 – and will return to the field house the afternoon of the 31st to begin football staff meetings. Other meetings will be held as well prior to coaching school.
The Rams do not have any players competing in the basketball or football all star games at coaching school. The basketball game will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 29, at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on the TCU campus, with the football game at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at Amon Carter Stadium at TCU.
After the annual coaching school, the MWHS football staff will immediately jump into meetings in preparation for the first day of practice on Monday, Aug. 5.
“We will begin our full (football staff) meetings on July 31,” Lawrence said. “We will get everything ready and prepared for two a days, which begin on Aug. 5 at 6 a.m.
“We will meet all three days after coaching school to go over the coaches duties for the year, in case anything changed from last year. We will go over everything from special teams to offense to defense to locker room assignments to game assignments with the new coaches.
“We will also have position meetings to make sure we are ready to go on Aug. 5.”
The coach also switched a couple of responsibilities of two assistant coaches.
“We made some coaching changes in the spring, so offensively and defensively it will be a pretty simple transition,” Lawrence said. “Offensively, there are very little changes, although coach (Will) Burnes will switch from coaching running backs to tight ends.
“A new coach, Robert Jones from Arlington Seguin, will coach running backs. Defensively, we are all in our same positions accept Neil (Mesler) is the new defensive coordinator and he will also coach the safeties. Coach (John) Tuggle is moving back to coaching outside linebackers, and I will coach the cornerbacks.”
Lawrence also hired former Rams assistant coach Kelly Wilson, who came to MWHS when the district hired David Bourquin as head coach in 2005. Wilson had been coaching at Weatherford the past four years.
“We are excited to have coach Wilson back,” Lawrence said. “He will coach defensive line, and his second sport will be as an assistant in track.”
With everything in place with the staff, it is now a matter of the players showing up, and showing up in good shape.
“Coaches are always worried who is going to show up on that first day of two a days,” Lawrence said. “That is a concern at every level, including junior high.
“You hope everyone is done with family vacations and the like in hopes of having a full squad at all levels when practice begin.”