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Marble Falls football coaches want team to ‘go fast’

CAPTION: Marble Falls quarterback Noah Luckie finds halfback Jaime Castillo on a short pass during practice Aug. 11. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

After two weeks of preparation, the Marble Falls High School football team hits the road Friday, Aug. 11, eager to match up against players not wearing purple and gold.

The Mustangs will go to Leander Glenn High School, 1320 Collaborative Way in Leander, for scrimmages. The junior varsity takes the field at 5 p.m. followed by the varsity at 7 p.m.

Head coach Brian Herman said he wants to see one important quality.

“Aggression,” he said. “I want to see them go fast, even if they’re not sure where they should be on each play.”

The scrimmage will have a controlled portion where each team’s offense faces the opponent’s defense for 10 plays. The evening will end with two live quarters that will be played like a ball game.

Herman said coaches have a script of plays they want the players to perform for various purposes including evaluation, combination of line-ups and to ensure each Mustang knows his role in a specific play.

“We’re going down a list,” he said, noting down and distance isn’t as important as the personnel and the players’ demonstration of understanding what they should be doing on each play.

The Mustangs enjoyed two light practices days Aug. 9-10, hitting the field at Mustang Stadium by 6 a.m. and finishing around 7:45 a.m. That allowed coaches to attend teacher in-service with their other colleagues in preparation of the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, which is Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Coaches pointed out very few penalties as the Mustangs ran various plays, demonstrating an understanding of their roles in each. That’s why the errors, when they happened, were obvious to coaches, who didn’t stop imploring speed, tempo and blocking. The players showed their discipline by lining up and not moving until the ball was snapped, even with some players moving to a different position. Still, these players have been in Herman’s playbook for years, so they have an understanding of what to do on each play.

“It’s easier to play fast,” he said. “We want to make sure our kids are prepared to where they don’t have to think. We don’t want them standing around where they’re thinking or guessing. This was a good polish day. I’m really enjoying this team, not that I didn’t enjoy the others. This has been an enjoyable August.”

He pointed out the players are showing a great balance between getting the work in and mixing in a little fun. At times, coaches will line up across a player and challenge him to block. And that player keeps blocking, even after the play ends. Then they both begin laughing. Other times, the players will take an offensive play that’s whistled dead and keep running to the end zone, which might be 80 yards. That draws high-fives and laughter from their teammates.

“I haven’t seen that in a while,” Herman said. “Kids are taking that upon themselves. They need that. It’s a light atmosphere in a good way. I’m really pleased. We’re having a good experience. It’s enjoyable working together. The kids haven’t complained.”

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