According to the calendar, it’s right in the middle of summer. The temperature bears this out.
“The big thing the first week was getting acclimatized to the heat,” said head Horatio football coach Robert Collum. “Things started off pretty slow. The heat was tough. Day two we started getting better.”
If there was motto for the Lions this year, it might be: one step at a time. Collum and staff are trying to insure that everyone is up to speed on each play before adding more. “In the past, I’ve tried to get in too much, too quick,” Collum said. “We’re trying to get every little detail hammered out.”
The news from the Lions new 4-4 defense is encouraging. “They’ve got a good grasp of it,” new defensive coordinator Ethan Crocker said.
The Lions began work on their kicking game, including deep snappers and holders, last Friday. Collum said there are several kicking candidates, including one who has been on a family vacation. Several Lions missed the opening practices. “The younger guys are not driving yet,” Collum noted. “We’ve had right at 17 here. I’m hoping for 25-28 when school gets started.”
Even with that number, some players will play on both sides of the ball. “We’ve been conditioning every day,” Collum pointed out. “We will have some kids going both ways; they may not come off the field the entire game.”
The first test of the Lions against another team will be Aug. 20 when they host Mineral Springs. Collum wants to add some weapons to the Horatio arsenal before them.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to expand both our offense and defense a little,” he said. “Right now, we’re right about where we need to be.”