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Faith Academy football readies for Waco Live Oak in district opener

CAPTION: Playing tough defense is part of being a Faith Academy Flame. Just ask Adam Merlick. Photo by Stennis Shotts

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team welcomes Waco Live Oak Classical in the Division II, District 3 opener of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

It’s a battle between two programs that are starting to build a rivalry.

Two years ago the Falcons (3-3) beat the Flames for the TAPPS Division II state championship 46-41.

Last year, the Flames returned the favor 54-36 when the two were aligned into the same district. Faith won the district championship and the Falcons were the runners-up. The two also clinched the only two playoff berths.

Flames head coach John Hallam said the Falcons look solid this season.

“They look good,” he said. “They have a number of skill guys and they have some really good size that’s going to be difficult.”

The Flames enter this contest after enjoying a bye last week. Hallam said he believes the team enjoyed some quality work and rest, including attending an academy retreat Sept. 25-26.

“We got some injuries and a lot of what we were doing was getting guys to fill roles,” he said. “(On Sept. 27) we looked at film.”

They also worked on defense and corrections on Sept. 27-28.

While the players were on the retreat, Hallam said he met with the coaching staff.

“We self-assessed and looked at what we need to be doing in practices,” he said. “We’re making some big changes. We’re doing a number of things.”

The biggest is to pick up the intensity of practices, he said.

“We’re not able to play fast,” he said. “We’re thinking. We’re getting lost in our anxiety. We need to create that environment in practice and get that adrenaline going and continue to work on that. (During games) we make mistakes early, and we allow chaos to take over at a certain point.”

The Flames began practices for Live Oak at 6:30 a.m. Oct. 2.

“We’re hitting it heavy,” the coach said. “We’re understanding we haven’t put together a full game together. We need to step up and play well collectively. We have a lot of work. I’m excited about it.”

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