“It’s been a great week,” said Horatio first year coach Lantz Castleman as July drew to a close.

The coach asked his players after their Thursday workout: Do you think you got better this week? The answer was yes.

“They’ve had a great attitude, great effort and intensity in the weight room and in speed training. They can feel themselves getting stronger and faster,” the coach said.

The core group that has worked out all summer is still showing up every day.”They’ve been very consistent. I’m very proud of attitude and commitment from this group,” Castleman said. “We had some guys decide to join us. We’re up to 20.”

While the majority of work out time has been emphasizing physical development, a segment has been set aside for learning Castleman’s offensive and defensive systems.

“We’ve been spending 15 to 20 minutes a day introducing concepts,” he said.

“Our defense will be in an odd front. I want to play physical with great pursuit. The defense should fly to the ball, be sound, be good at tackling.”

Most teams on Horatio’s schedule run some form of a spread offense. “Against spread we’ll run a 3-3 stack,” the coach said. “The linemen first off control their gap. They need to get their hands on the o-linemen and plug the inside. The linebackers have to be aggressive, don’t shy away from contact, tackle the football.”

The secondary will have a variety of looks. “We’ll go either three high or four high. One safety is kind of a linebacker/safety hybrid. Sometimes he will be in deep coverage. Sometimes he will be another linebacker.”

A depth chart is taking shape. “I feel good about it. We have a guy in every position who can do what we’re looking for,” the coach said.

“Right now we’re preparing for fall camp. We will still report at 8 a.m. Aug. 3, but we will go Monday through Friday instead of Monday through Thursday.”

The covid factor is still out there somewhere. “We know how we want it to pan out, but at the end of the day, governor will make the call,” Castleman said.

One option some states are using is to delay the start of the season. “That would be fine with me as long as we get to play,” the coach said. “This group of seniors deserves to play. We’re hoping for the opportunity to showcase all the work they’ve put in.”


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