While expectations are still being established within the Grapevine football program, new coach Randy Jackson is still trying to iron out the little things.
It is a process. Securing the trust and faith of the 154 players within all divisions of the program isn’t going to be an overnight event.
So Jackson has used the metaphor of every player jumping into the wheel barrel. If every player is in it, then the chances of succeeding increase. If some are not in it, then the results will speak for themselves.
“We want to get them all in there,” Jackson said. “We’re making progress. Every coach has different things he wants to do. You can call it pet peeves. But these are things that we believe will make us a better program.”
The biggest challenge has been ensuring every player understands that there is a purpose to practice and a life purpose for living up to the responsibilities that comes with playing at Grapevine. The players may not understand it now, but they may years after they have graduated.
As for learning the tempo, “We practice like our hair is on fire,” Jackson said.
What that means is that players are moving rapidly from station to station and doing what is asked at each.
Offensively, Jackson has basically implemented his entire offense but also understands that it’s not going to be grasped right away. In each of the first three weeks, he put in one-third of the schemes/plays/alignments.
However, by Thursday’s spring game at Mustang-Panther Stadium, he hopes that his offense can master just the base of it.
“I just wanted them to be exposed to it,” Jackson said. “I wanted them to be sure that by the time we open the season against North Crowley, they will remember something and it will be easier to pick up.”
Senior quarterback Sam Barry continues to understand the offense. Jackson realizes that the repetitions in the summer are going to be really important as he develops.
“We threw the whole playbook at him so that’s a lot,” Jackson said. “He’s improving and he has a pretty good command of the base plays.”
Notable• The running back situation has yet to resolve itself. Jackson is looking at senior Jacobi White and seniors Tyler Wolf and Jared McIntire. There have been good days and bad days, so no one has created separation to this point, Jackson said.
• Keep an eye on junior wide receiver Maddox Middaugh, Jackson said. While he’s injured and can’t go through contact drills, Jackson said he Middaugh is considered a pretty good rout runner.
• The defense has two bona fide defensive tackles in senior Robbie Haider (6-0, 230) and sophomore Bryan Andrews (6-0, 200). Andrews competed at the state wrestling meet in February.
• Jackson said he and his staff have spent a lot of the spring working with the kicking game. Solid programs are usually pretty sound in special teams.
• Expect the varsity to begin its version of the spring game at 7:30 Thursday at Mustang-Panther Stadium.