The time to put the pads on is quickly approaching for Scotty Ward’s Temple High School football team, creating the urge for the third-year head coach to get his players as ready as possible during the final few weeks of the summer schedule.
Getting a chance to rest up during the ‘dead period’ last week, the Tigers returned to their summer routine on Monday when they once again hosted Bowdon for a throwing session between the two county neighbors before shuffling across the county line for another session with Haralson County, Mount Zion and Cleburne County (Ala.) on Tuesday morning in Tallapoosa.
“With Bowdon, we did some 7-on-7 stuff. It was nothing big, but it was a good day,” Ward said. “Anytime you can go against somebody else, it makes you better no matter what you do. Whether you’ve got just helmets on or whatever it is.”
Monday’s throwing session with the Red Devils was a continuation of the work that Ward and his bunch had been putting in prior during the month of June.
The THS head coach was pleased with some of the progress his team's made through that period of time, but he stressed his desire to have a full roster on hand every day as the season inches closer.
“We’ve had some key guys who haven’t shown up, which isn’t good. You have to have everybody here. There’s church camps, other camps they go to or vacation, so you try to give them time off to kind of work around that. We’ve missed a few guys and it’s tough, especially when it’s guys you’re counting on,” Ward said.
“But for the most part, they’ve worked hard in the weight room and on the field. Things have been good. I think our quarterbacks are starting to do better, our running backs are starting to figure out stuff and our wings are starting to figure out a little bit. It’s just about repping, repping, repping, repping. Defensively, we have so many 10th-graders that are going to play, so it’s a matter of them being here and getting the reps that they need.”
Ward described what the next few weeks will look like for the Tigers as they work up and through the start of the acclimatization period at the end of the month.
“Next week, we’re definitely throwing against Mount Zion and we’re probably going to Bowdon on Monday. We’re just trying to get some work in against other people for the next couple of weeks,” Ward said. “For that week of acclimation, it starts on a Thursday and goes through Wednesday of that following week. I’ve actually planned on giving them that Monday and Tuesday off, but it depends on how it works out, I guess. Are we getting better? Are we getting what we need? You have to start thinking about special teams. You have to start thinking about all of the things that you gotta have before the season starts.”
And once the conditioning period ends, Temple will be looking toward its first official preseason bout, an early-August scrimmage against Pepperell.
With 22 days separating THS from its first taste of live action, the Tigers will be doing all they can to make sure that they’re ready for it once they step onto the field.
“Pepperell is August 3 and that’s crazy. But it’s the same for them as it is for us. Like us, they get one day of pads on Wednesday and then we scrimmage that Friday,” Ward said. “It’s not far away at all. It’s a little crazy, but for us for the next three weeks, it’s going to be nose to the grindstone and trying to get as much reps as we possibly can."