By TONY EIERDAM
The “real” sounds of football filled Ram Stadium on a relatively cool Friday morning as shoulder pads and helmets of the Mineral Wells Rams collided to give the sounds of a football concert on the first day the team could practice in full pads.
The Rams’ offensive and defensive linemen, handcuffed the first four days of practice as the team by UIL rule practiced in shorts and helmets only, were eager to get in the trenches and trade licks.
Rams head coach Chuck Lawrence said he enjoyed the players’ enthusiasm and intensity despite their legs being a little worn with a week’s worth of work almost behind them.
“We were very pleased (with the first practice in pads),” Lawrence said. “I thought we were going to take a couple of steps back (Friday), but I don’t think we did.
“We went full speed and played well, and we didn’t have any injuries. All in all it was a good day.”
The coach said that one quality of putting on the pads is that the players slow down with the extra bulk.
“In shorts,” he said, “you are not getting the physical contact.
“In pads, you have to move a lot faster to get off a block or execute a block.
“The speed of the game actually slows down on the first day in full pads. The players will have to get used to wearing the pads and ramp it up a little to get to a normal level.”
Lawrence spent most of the latter part of Friday morning’s practice working with the defense of all squads. He liked what he saw on the defensive side of the ball.
“I was very impressed with the defensive line,” he said. “The offensive line scout team did a very good job and gave our defensive guys good work.”
Lawrence said the team is where the coaching staff wants it to be after a week of practices. The week ended with an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday morning.
“Defensively, we have put the schemes in that we wanted in by this time, and the same offensively,” Lawrence said. “I like our intensity and the way we have been firing off the ball on the line, and it gave the coaches a chance to see what the players are made of.”
Lawrence added that junior quarterback Caleb Acosta, in his first full camp as the starter, is progressing well. Last year, Acosta was the second-string quarterback through camp but replaced injured quarterback Dan Reay Turk just prior to the season opener last year.
Acosta kept the job and started all 10 games at QB in 2012.
This season, Acosta has the luxury of taking all of the snaps of the first-team offense.
Other quarterbacks seeing time on the varsity are freshman Trent Guinn and senior Colby Kissinger, who will start at receiver.
“Caleb has shown good leadership qualities, and he is throwing the ball well,” Lawrence said. “He is making the correct reads and directing the offense. He will be just fine.”
Lawrence did point out a few players, including Arlington Lamar transfer Elijuan Combs, as standing out during the first workout in full armor.
“(Sophomore) Tristian Seargent had a really good day,” Lawrence said. “He plays outside linebacker and he stood out. And Elijuan Combs is looking real good at the weakside end spot.
“He looks like he is a player.”
Rams have spirited first practice in full pads
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
As I've written the last two weeks, Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine is on shelves and, more importantly, in my office. Can you tell I'm excited for football season?
Burke, Carter, Fisher among young standouts at early MW summer track meets
Two meets are in the books for the Mineral Wells Summer Track Club and already many young athletes have risen to the top alongside their varsity counterparts as the apparent track stars of the future.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season