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
After over a month of speculation, the Ram faithful have a new leader in which to place their hope.
Friday night, the Mineral Wells ISD Board of Trustees announced their decision to hire Waco Midway's Co-Offensive Coordinator Gerald Perry as the new Athletic Director and head football coach of Mineral Wells High School.
The Mineral Wells Lady Rams (14-3) got everything they hoped for and more in the opening day of the Mineral Wells Tournament, Thursday, at Kessler Field. They swept the competition in a triple-header and dealt with a wide variety of situations, overcoming each.
Gordon, Strawn fill up all-district hoops teams
The All-District 17-1A-II teams for both boys and girls basketball have been announced and rivals Gordon and Strawn have left an indelible mark on the 2013-24 edition with the two schools combining for six players on the boys team and a whopping 11 girls receiving honors.
Lady Rams Softball begins MW Tourney
Hot off of a 5-1 showing at the Wichita Falls Tournament, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team (11-3) will open tournament play against quality competition again today from the comfort of their own home.
Four Ladycats garner top 11-1A-I awards
Palo Pinto County's most successful basketball team of the 2013-14 season can now add a bushel of accolades to an already memorable, Regional Championship year.
MW boys place third, girls seventh at Ram Relays
The Mineral Wells boys and girls track teams were on full display, Saturday, in front of a hometown crowd at the Ram Relays as the varsity girls team took seventh place with 42 point and the varsity boys finished third with 90 points.
State slips away
ABILENE – It wasn't the way a community pictured their season ending.
Fresh off of a thrilling 69-65, double-overtime victory over Ira in the regional semifinals, the Graford Jackrabbits' (27-4) bid for their first trip to the state tournament since 2012 fell short Saturday afternoon with a 58-25 loss at the hands of the Water Valley Wildcats (27-5) in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Finals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
Weathering the storm
The 2013-14 season epitomized growth for the Mineral Wells Rams basketball team. Under the tutelage of head coach Aaron Pappas, the Rams played to a 6-4 record in District 6-3A, clinching a third place finish and a fourth-straight playoff appearance.
Graford's Wimberly named 11-1A-II Offensive POY
A successful 2013-14 campaign for the Graford Lady Rabbits basketball team was capped off last week with the announcement that senior point guard Syndey Wimberly was named "Offensive Player of the Year" by district coaches. The district runner-up Lady Rabbits also placed five girls on the All-District 11-!A-II team.
Graford outlasts Ira, 69-65 (2OT), advances to Regional Finals
ABILENE -- "Survive and advance" is the name of the game come tournament time. And with their backs against the wall, the Graford Jackrabbits (27-3) did just that, holding off the Ira Bulldogs, 69-65, in double-overtime in the Class 1A-Division II Regional Semifinals at Abilene Christian University's Moody Coliseum.
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