The Prosper football team hit the practice field with helmets and jerseys for the first time on Monday, Aug. 14.
It also marked the beginning of the school year and the first day high school football teams can run full practices according to UIL rules. Throughout the summer, players have worked on their own and received guidance from the coaching staff during a six-week strength and conditioning camp.
“The first week’s been awesome,” Prosper head coach Brandon Schmidt said. “The kids picked up right where they left off in summer ball and strength camp. It’s been a very business-like attitude.”
So far, practices have focused on building a foundation for the hard-working culture the coaching staff and upperclassmen are looking to implement throughout the season. Players are split up by position groups to work on technique and fundamentals first before diving into more physical drills at full speed.
The first day of padded practice came on Friday, Aug. 18, giving the coaching staff an opportunity to implement more physically demanding drills. Teams will not be restricted as much by UIL rules moving forward, allowing the Eagles to build a consistent routine.
“Our kids have bought in to what we’re trying to do,” Schmidt said. “We don’t want to have peaks and valleys. We just want to be even keel, come to work and get a little bit better every day.”
Assistant coach Tyler Moore has played a big role to help implement Prosper’s scheme on offense. In the first four days of practice, the Eagles learned nearly every play they’ll be running all season.
To get accustomed to things, Prosper has put an emphasis on running no-huddle and changing formations on the fly. As a result, the team will be able to throw multiple looks at opposing defenses and change up the pace to gain a mental edge.
“Our kids are very smart,” Moore said. “They can handle a lot of stuff, and we put a lot on them. We really challenge them to use the mental side of the game to our advantage.”
Defensively, the Eagles has already began to scheme in preparation for different opponents. Many seniors, including safety Blake Harrington, have taken on a bigger leadership role this season to help others learn Prosper’s 3-4 base defense. Meanwhile, they’ve also emphasized a hard-working and professional attitude to set an example for younger players.
“We push them in workouts just to make sure they understand our standards and our culture,” Harrington said. “If you do your job every day, that’s how work gets done.”
The next two weeks of practice will give underclassmen the chance to impress the coaching staff and potentially earn more playing time. The most notable position battle is at quarterback, but Schmidt has not named a starter between senior Matt Bramer and junior Keegan Shoemaker.
Prosper will travel to Colleyville Heritage for a scrimmage at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25. The first game of the season is against Boerne Champion in Georgetown at 7 p.m.