JACKSON TWP. – Ready or not, high school football is here.
Sounds like most Bundesliga teams have the feeling that they aren’t.
“If you have to crawl before you can run and walk before you can run, we haven’t gotten out of the crib yet,” said Jackson’s head coach Tim Budd of his polar bears.
Budd is not alone in his general feeling.
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The Ohio high school football schedule has basically shifted a week this season to allow for extended playoffs. While teams were allowed more training time in June and July – and the teams definitely took advantage of that – this was sort of helmet-and-shorts work.
The loss of a week by two a day and a scrimmage is felt.
Every coach in the Bundesliga expressed the feeling of standing behind where they normally want to be.
In Jackson’s case, the situation was aggravated by the fact that the district’s teachers were back in school last week, which limited the polar bears to a total of four exercises per day. They had also abandoned their second scrimmage against Walsh Jesuits because of the weather.
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This has Budd worried about what he will see in terms of conditioning and contacting on Friday night when his polar bears welcome Akron East at the season opener.
“There is only one way to get better at playing football and that is with the pads to play football,” said Budd. “We haven’t done enough of it. We haven’t hardened our bodies to four-quarters the size of football. “
GlenOak is green, green is experienced
Scott Garcia is back as GlenOak’s head coach, trying to rebuild the program as it was for most of its first run.
There’s a lot to do for a team that had a losing streak of 17 games in Friday’s opening game against Shaker Heights, and the shorter preseason hasn’t helped that effort.
“It was tough,” said Garcia. “Talking to other coaches doesn’t make a lot of sense. I know what the idea is: it will make money for the state. But it only puts the children in a bad situation. “
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Garcia got the Golden Eagles up and running.
“Our exercises are long and physical,” he said. “That’s the only way I know how to do it. … I always tell the kids we have planned a two-hour training session, but if it takes us four hours to get it in, that’s going to happen. “
Green head coach Mark Geis said the short preseason was “like the worst-case scenario for football coaches who believe they can control everything and be prepared for anything”.
It’s a good year to have an experienced team and Geis enjoys the benefit of having several three-year college starters, including Senior QB Trevor Van Horn.
“The value in it is simply immeasurable,” he said. “I think we saw a lot of that in the camp. It really feels like the scheme hasn’t changed a lot, offensively and defensively. We are simply way ahead of what we have been in recent years. “
Do not fall asleep
Hoover head coach Brian Baum made a good point regarding the dangerous playmakers in Cleveland Heights’ triple option offensive. Baum saw how explosive they can be when the Tigers, who play at Hoover on Friday, defeat Akron East.
“They didn’t look great all the time, but there was this one time, they faked the full-back, took it around the corner, put it on the corner and went to the house,” said Baum. “It was a good clip to show our guys that, hey, if you’re not healthy, this is going to happen.
“We could have 60 great defensive snaps and they could still have 21 points because something happened in three games and they are fast enough to get it in.”
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Reunited and it feels so good
This marks the eighth time in the past nine years that Jackson has opened the season against East, the only difference being that they missed last year when the coronavirus pandemic messed up schedules.
Jackson’s defensive coordinator Jay Rohr and East head coach Marques Hayes were teammates at the University of Akron.
“We have a lot of respect for Coach Hayes and the East program as we’ve played them in a number of close ties over the years,” said Budd. “It’s good to come back and regain that relationship because our coaching teams get along.”
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On twitter: @jweirREP