The Elba Tigers are less than a week away from the official start of preseason football practice and new head coach Marc Sieving stated last week that the players and coaches are excited and are ready to go. “We are all excited about the beginning of fall drills and can now look ahead at the calendar and see that the season starts in less than a month,” said Coach Sieving. “We have accomplished a lot during the summer and feel really good about where we are, but there is only so much you can get done in shorts and it is time to put on the pads and get to work.” “One of the best things about the weeks of summer work is that I got to know all the players, now have expectations of what they can do and along with the coaches have been able to develop a plan for going forward,” added Sieving. “On July 27 we will officially begin fall workouts, which means we will be out in shorts for three days and shells for one day before we put on the pads. Once we get on the pads we will be able to find out if the guys that blocked bags in the summer can block a real person and find out just who are really football players. During the summer we were able to get everyone limed up and found positions for the players on both offense and defense. Now it will be time to start hitting and to find out if we made the best choices, and of course make personnel changes. We still have a lot of work to do before the season kicks off, but we have had a really good summer and are looking forward to getting down to real work.” “When we come back next week we will try to make it as similar to a typical school day as possible,” added Sieving. “We will start practice at four o’clock, will work in the weight room, watch some film and hit the field. Hopefully it won’t be quite so hot by that time and we will stay out until about seven. There will be a lot of individual work with all the players with their position coaches and of course a lot of work on knowing for sure we understand our offense and defense. We believe we got in about ninety percent of our offense and defense during the summer and that the players understand what we are trying to do, but you never really know until the pads come on. Our priority this week has been special teams and finding the right people to get the job done, while next week the priorities on offense will be to block, get proper spacing and have everyone doing their job, and on defense the priority will be tackling. Basics and fundamentals are always a priority.” Coach Sieving reported that the Tigers have 32 players on the varsity squad, and while the numbers are down a little from years past, all the players have been consistent at attending practice and getting in the work needed during the summer. “We know the numbers are down a little,” added Sieving, “and with the way the last school year ended that is to be expected, but we have our team and will play with what we have. The lack of depth will make it more important than ever that everyone be in the best condition possible. We will have players going both ways, and playing on special teams, and that means they have to be in shape, not just in the weight room, but in the heat on the football field. We’ll get everyone a break when we get the chance, but we know that there will be times when the best eleven players have to be on the field, and be ready to give their best. It will be a challenge for sure, but it is a challenge I believe our players will accept and will achieve.” Coach Sieving said the Tigers will hold a scrimmage on the evening of August 7, at Tiger Stadium, for the fans to get the chance to see their team on the field and get to know the players and coaches.
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