Football Season Kicks off this Saturday after an extensive summer of practice

Arjun Aujla

After months of preparation, the Redwood varsity football team looks forward to the start of the season as they take the field this Saturday, Aug. 27 against Wheatland High School for their first regular season game. This year’s team features a new look compared to last season as many star players and starters graduated in June, forcing the team to build from the ground up. Newer players have been focusing on their fundamentals and building strength for the season, while seniors are ready to show what they are made of, one last time.

Unlike other sports at Redwood, football practices throughout the summer to prepare for their season. This year, the team started off with mostly conditioning, but as the summer progressed, practices consisted of watching film, running through drills, lifting in the weight room, and learning the playbook. The dedication required to succeed on the football field has been unmatched and head coach Allen Talley knows what it takes to be great.

Discussing the situation, head coach Allen Talley and assistant coach JJ Davis converse about which play to practice.

“In the summer, we were working around vacations but we were able to split it up and still have a good number of players every week,” Talley said. “Since Aug. 8, we have been working hard to put it all together, and that’s all it is … the dedication to get ready for the season.”

Since there are many players on the team this year who are new to the sport, summer practices were focused on honing in on important skills and learning the team’s system. Senior quarterback Brady Weingart has a large leadership role and how practices looked this summer.

“The guys that were showing up consistently made lots of progress with the fundamentals as well as getting in shape and getting stronger. For me I like to preach staying ready and working hard for the spot,” Weingart said. “No spot is guaranteed, and if you perform on the field you will get the spot. My main goal is to keep the team motivated even when they are not seeing the field as much.”

Last year’s senior class not only showcased a group of talented and skilled players but also very strong leaders. As a result of losing those players, the football team has had to rely on several players to step up not only on the field but in leadership roles as well. 

Junior Jackson Walker is looking forward to his elevated role for the team both on the field and in the locker room.

“This year I will be starting on both sides of the ball,” Walker said. “I am also trying to take [on] a leadership role for my class because next year I will be one of the leaders. I am trying to learn as much as I can from the seniors and get as prepared as possible for this season.”

On Aug. 21, the team traveled to Miramonte High School to scrimmage against three teams. The team went 2-1 at the scrimmage but more importantly, it was a great learning experience for the team.

Getting into the action, Coach JJ Davis shows his linemen a new blocking scheme.

“Going into the scrimmage we knew that we had the pieces, it was just about putting them together. The scrimmage definitely helped us, we learned what our strengths and weaknesses are. We played pretty well but more importantly, we corrected a lot of mistakes. It was also great to get the new guys a little taste of the violence and physicality of the game,” Walker said.

There is lots of anticipation for the first football game of the season, and after their three-hour bus ride to Wheatland, the Giants will take on the Pirates. All the practices have led up to this moment and the team is ready to showcase their skills.

“It’s the last run for all of the seniors and I am excited to see what we can do,” Weingart said.