JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — The first day of fall training camp for the Burnet High School football team forced coaches to use all 125 yards at Bulldog Field to accommodate the large numbers of players getting ready for the 2016 season.
Head coach Kurt Jones said he is expecting 120 players in grades 9-12 to play football, which is a solid number for the program.
“We’re excited,” he said. “It’s a new year, a new opportunity. We’re making the most of our opportunities.”
Senior quarterback Koby Edwards was the leader of the passing drills with the other quarterbacks as they worked on routes with the running backs and receivers.
Linemen worked at another end on blocking drills that included when to double team.
Defensive backs went through swarm drills.
Jones noted the upperclassmen led by example on much of the work because of their knowledge of the playbook.
“The older guys, the ones with more experience, you can see the retention,” he said. “You’re not needing to go over as much with those guys.”
The coach said one area coaches asked Edwards, who is expected to be the new starting quarterback, to work on was his leadership. Edwards was the reserve quarterback on the varsity last year behind Austin Moore. But Edwards has been a starter for years at other levels.
“That’s a place we’ve asked him to grow and an area we want him to improve,” Jones said. “He’s stepping into that role. He’s handling it the way we want.”
The Bulldogs will feature two new coordinators this year: Jerod Rye switched from offensive coordinator to defensive coordinator, and Justin Marcellus is the new offensive coordinator. Both were working with various players in different positions to correct technique, answer questions and point out how to do things better.
Jones noted he enjoyed the energy he saw from the defensive players and complimented Rye on getting the athletes fired up about that side of the ball.
“He’s getting his guys up and flying to the ball,” he said.
The most experienced group are the offensive linemen with six players returning who started last year. Jones noted that experience raises the comfort level for the rest of the Bulldogs.
As for the younger players, the coach said he noticed some were uncertain about where to line up or what to do on some plays, but that’s to be expected on the first day.
“The vast majority of our guys know,” he said. “This will get better.”
The Bulldogs open the season against Austin Reagan at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at Bulldog Stadium. See Burnet’s full schedule at KBEYFM.com.