Featured Football High School 

Marble Falls football shows encouraging signs as first week ends

The Marble Falls High School football team finished its first week of training camp Aug. 6 in full pads that included going through the playbook and hitting. The Mustangs had numerous players in various positions, none bigger than junior Brian Beltran who lined up at tight end and caught a long touchdown pass that fired up the offense.

Until that point, the defense was in the backfield making tackles or showed the discipline to contain and not allow the slot-T offense to find its rhythm. Head coach Brian Herman noted the importance of the spirited practice.

“I thought we started with really good energy,” he said. “I didn’t see anybody shy away from contact – that was encouraging. We have a lot of kids trying to figure things out: new bodies, new positions and for the first time, they’re being coached to be the dudes.”

That’s because 30 players were on the 2021 roster who graduated in May, some of whom were second- and third-year starters.

To say Herman was encouraged is an understatement. He saw plenty of positives. Top of the list was the players’ willingness to be corrected by the coaches, who were very interested in seeing effort and being in the right place to make a play.

“If they don’t know, they can’t go,” Herman said. “Until they really grasp the responsibility, there’s a feeling of hesitancy and wanting certainty. It’s like I told them, ‘If we were perfect, you wouldn’t have to practice.’ The film will allow us to get better.”

He added reviewing the video will reveal the details each player in every position must commit to in order for the play to be successful. The film will show players how quickly they can go from being good to being dominant thanks to stepping with the correct foot, upper body movement and proper hand placement. Coaches have been emphasizing those traits, Herman said, but the film will show the players how far they’ve come and how much more they need to go.

“I expect this to be super helpful,” he said. “We have visual evidence.”

He noted the defense performed very well and made stops that didn’t allow the offense to average 3.3 yards per play.

“The defense is always ahead of the offense,” he said. “Defense is about aggression, pinning your ears back, and finding the ball. Offense is about execution. We have new bodies in new positions and first-timers playing (on the varsity). If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need to practice.”

Offensive players knew the defense performed well, he added, and that will serve them well.

“The desire to get better,” Herman said. “They’re not happy when we don’t do well. They came, they’re going to put in the time and effort, and they’ll take the coaching. We’ll be able to improve. The film will show what coaches have been saying. They’ll see it and get better from it. I have zero doubt we’ll improve greatly. We have great attendance and great attitudes and effort. We have to teach the scheme and tell them to go with it.”

Herman said what impressed him the most was how much of the schemes coaches installed the first week because the players arrived in shape. In other words, practices have been about running plays and correction, not about putting players through conditioning in order to get them ready to play.

“We started at step three versus step one in terms of knowledge,” he said. “I’m seeing us get better every day. They’re taking the coaching, and they’re allowing us to coach them.”

He also commended the dozen subvarsity players who voluntarily practiced with the varsity Aug. 6 and committed themselves to get better, too.

“We’ve done a lot of practicing, a lot of lifting, and a lot of running,” he said.

The week started with the players dressed in T-shirts, shorts and helmets and ended with them wearing full uniforms and pads. It was a great week of work, Herman said.

“(Aug. 5) was the first day we could make contact, but it wasn’t full contact,” he said. “You could go body to body. We wanted to keep bodies from going to the ground. You want to see them hit, but you have to be smart. We got the music playing, it’s been fun. I told them, ‘I want you to go as hard as you can and we won’t have to worry about conditioning.’ People will be fighting for positions all year. We’ll start 22 kids against (Pflugerville) Connally (in the season opener at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at The Pfield, 1440 W. Pecan St. in Pflugerville.). That doesn’t mean it’ll be the same starters the next week.”

Marble Falls welcomes Leander Glenn Friday, Aug. 12, to Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. The sub varsities take the field at 5 p.m. with the varsity at 6:30 p.m. It is also a “Our Day to Shine” event, a fundraiser that benefits the Texas High School Coaches Education Foundation, which gives money to coaches and athletes experiencing hardships. Fans can make monetary donations during the scrimmage.

The Mustangs’ final scrimmage is against Leander High Friday, Aug. 19, at Bible Stadium, 3301 S. Bagdad in Leander. The freshmen and junior varsity play at 5 p.m. with the varsity at 6:30 p.m. 

Fans can Meet the Mustangs at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at Max Copeland Gym, 2101 Mustang Drive. 

Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports by going to Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.

Related posts

Leave a Comment