The Faith Academy of Marble Falls Flames had a great summer, which head football coach Stephen Shipley expects to lead into an even better fall program, he said, assessing the official start of fall training camp Monday, Aug. 2.
“It doesn’t feel like the first week of practice,” he told DailyTrib.com. “We’ve had unbelievable summer turnout like never before. We had kids in the weight room all summer.”
In fact, Shipley said, practices have been a confirmation of what he knows about his players and staff: The Flames will be great, really great, in 2021.
Before camp even started, the Flames won the Super Centex Six-Man Shootout on July 9-10 in Waco. They defeated Abbott High School, a public school, en route to the championship and a perfect 9-0 record.
The Flames also set up 7-on-7 games with Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Johnson City throughout June to prepare them for the state contest.
During the Shootout, Faith only gave up an average of 6 points in the nine contests, which is unheard in a 6-on-6 or 7-on-7 game, which almost always favor offenses because they’re designed for teams to score points in a hurry.
Winning that tournament has motivated the team to set bigger goals, Shipley said.
“That gave us confidence,” he said. “We’ve been up here all summer, so having helmets on is the only difference.”
Shipley is anticipating suiting up 25 players, including 10 seniors, also unheard of for most six-man teams.
In practices, team leaders have embraced their roles, rarely dropping balls and responding well when asked to redo drills, Shipley said. Their teammates are following their examples.
Because of the talent and number of players, Shipley added to his playbook to give him flexibility on whether to call a run or a pass play. While each leads to the end zone, Shipley has enough pieces to feature multiple players and make it difficult on defenses.
“After two years, I’ve put a pretty good playbook together,” he said. “A lot has been trial and error. Everybody knows the offense. There are no excuses.”