The Hillsboro High School Trojans football team was greeted by wet weather Monday for the first practice of the 2009 season, but the players were excited to take the field. Players got to practice on the artificial turf of the new stadium.
During conditioning drills, players shouted more than their coaches, to get one another fired up for practice. They practiced in helmets but not pads because of Kansas State High School Activities Association rules. The first practice in full pads will be Thursday.
After conditioning, new Head Coach Max Heinrichs and Assistant Coaches Dennis Boldt, Len Coryea, Darrel Knoll, and Scott O’Hare split the team for skill drills. In one, players practiced form in long-snapping, punting, and catching punts. With some instruction from Coryea on technique, freshman Tyrell Thiessen punted a ball nearly 40 yards.
To close practice, players divided into three offensive units and practiced actual plays but with no defense. The freshman offense went third each time, so they could see the more experienced players first.
Throughout the practice, coaches critiqued players’ form, often having to shout to be heard. Players have to get in good habits so when they are in a game, sore and tired, they will do things the right way out of force of habit.
The Trojans’ first game will be Sept. 4 at home against Sacred Heart.