Seven-on-seven success has Webb looking ahead
As the summer approaches its final weeks, the pulse of football begins to thump a little louder every day. And as the sun set over the fields of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, the season was that much closer.
One of the first phases of the 2005-2006 Cardinal football pre-season came to an end Monday as the final installment of Eudora's seven-on-seven scrimmages took place. This time around the Cardinals took the field without the services of quarterback Kyle Brouhard and key target Mark Abel. Despite the absences, the effort of Monday was pleasing to the head coach.
"I thought we really did some things well," coach Gregg Webb said. "The guys who made it here tonight hustled and showed they're getting to the point where they're ready to start playing."
The scrimmage began with the Cardinals taking on Bishop Miege. On offense senior-to-be Rodney Spillman took over for the absent Brouhard.
The evening had a shaky beginning for the quarterback as Spillman's very first pass went for an interception. But after the early miscues, Spillman was able to pick up where the passing game left off the previous week by going deep and connecting on several scoring plays.
"Rodney stepped in and did well tonight," Webb said. "You'd like to go into every scrimmage with your starting quarterback, but Rodney was able to get the ball to the receivers when they were open."
The defensive unit showed some speed and hustle during Monday's final scrimmage. Seniors-to-be Miles Cleveland, Luke Abel and Spillman found themselves in the thick of nearly every passing play against Shawnee Mission Northwest.
"The guys really made some strides as far as knowing where to be during the plays," Webb said. "Right now I'm pleased with where we're at."
Although the coach admitted there were no tangible items accomplished on the final day, it was the frame of mind that had him most excited.
"Every time we snap the ball, we get that much closer to where we need to be," Webb said. "Every snap gets the guys closer and closer to that football frame of mind."
That football frame of mind was something the coach believes began with the first major camp at Central Missouri State earlier in the summer.
"That camp really helped us get a jump on getting into the football mode," Webb said. "It helped us to get the offensive and defensive units used to the idea of contact. And with the scrimmages finishing tonight, we can move on to more physical things."
With the offense and defense beginning to take shape after the mid-summer scrimmages, the players and coaching staff can begin to look forward to the weeks ahead.
The Cardinals will take part in a football camp next week at Eudora High School where the rules concerning the number of players allowed on the field at any one time will not be in effect. It is this opportunity that has the coach even more pleased at what was accomplished at St. Thomas Aquinas.
"Now that we're done here we can take the next step at the camp," Webb said. "We'll be able to have all the players in one place and there will be more contact and drills to get them acclimated."
The camp begins July 25 and runs through Friday.