STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team finished its first full week of fall training camp with an intersquad scrimmage August 9. The Flames offense scored once, but new head coach Stephen Shipley said the objective wasn’t about scoring touchdowns; rather, it was about evaluating the progress of each player.
Shipley, who is a first-time, six-man football coach, has been installing his version of the spread offense. Players are spending a lot of time learning a new scheme, while some are also taking on positions new to them.
The head coach noted that when all the starters were on offense together, things went smoothly, especially on running plays.
He also liked how well that unit went through 25 offensive plays, though he said he plans to change up the plays each week.
“I’m going to do what I think makes us successful,” he said.
Shipley and the Faith coaches are stressing the basics, even working on two rudimentary skills: blocking and tackling.
The head coach made it clear he is looking for players who can block and tackle, and he’s not concerned about their ability to catch or run just yet. The athletes who can block and tackle are the ones who will see significant playing time, he said.
That was evident in the drills leading up to the intersquad scrimmage. Coaches put the players through drills that involved a lot of solo tackles and blocks. If a player’s form was incorrect, coaches immediately stopped him to tell the athlete how to fix it before moving on to the next player in line.
“Can we block? Can we tackle?” Shipley said. “This is why we’re doing this. I want to find out who can block and who can tackle.”
While blocking and tackling is being emphasized early on, the Flames aren’t neglecting the rest of the game. Skill players are showing up early to get work in on their own, specifically on passing. Quarterbacks and receivers are going through their routes to work on timing and familiarizing themselves with each other’s tendencies.
The Flames host Giddings State School in a scrimmage Thursday, August 15, starting at 6 p.m. at the Faith Academy sports complex, 3151 RR 1431 East in Marble Falls.
Giddings State School, a powerhouse in Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools six-man football, reached the state semifinals last year and is a consistent playoff team.