Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
It’s week two in middle school football- a beginning stage for players who are still gaining knowledge of position placement, offensive and defensive plays created by their coaches. At this age, kids are learning the concept of the game, as well as tackling adversity during the game.
However, it’s also what and how the coaches instill in their team.
“To be good men. It’s always fun to come out to play football, but I want them to understand that the hard work that they put into practice- it has to result in the hard work they put on the field,” Powell’s head football coach John Capel said. Capel is an accomplished athlete himself and speaks from experience. He was a track star, played football at the University of Florida and was drafted by the Chicago Bears. At the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, Capel won the 200-meter sprint with a time of 19.85 seconds. He then won the 200-meter gold medal at the 2003 World Championships in France. He was a favorite going into the 2004 Olympics.
Explorer’s first-year head football coach Billy Hughes is not new to the sidelines. He has been surrounded by football for years as a player, coach, and referee.
“Holding themselves accountable in the classroom and on the field,” Billy Hughes said. “I think it’s imperative to teach these kids fundamentals and skill levels. So when they get to high school, they know the proper way to block, run, catch, and throw.”
“We work hard to mentally and physically prepare these kids for high school because it’s a whole other world out there,” Hughes added.
Some kids at this age may be more athletically built than others. Some kids also may have more strategic skills. Both are initially an asset to the success of the team. Coaches are aware of those players with particular skills and how each player contributes to their team. Every coach is there to build the skills of their players.
“When they get to high school they kind of like know themselves, but in middle school, you can catch them right before that attitude change and gives you a good chance to work with them. If you can get them to start working at this level, high school is easy,” coach Capel said.
Quarter Box Scores:
Powell takes on Challenger on Oct 8 and Explorer has their bye week.