The Brownwood Lions wrapped up their first week of preseason practice Saturday morning at Gordon Wood Stadium with an intrasquad scrimmage, and first-year head coach Sammy Burnett feels the team is progressing quicker than he originally anticipated.
“We're right on schedule, but our kids' attitudes and effort have put us a step ahead because they're wanting to get in shape and they understand what the process is now and what the intensity needs to be at practice,” Burnett said following Saturday's scrimmage. “They've picked it up, they're embracing it and doing what we've asked them to do. I actually think we're probably one step ahead of where I thought we'd be at this time.”
The bulk of the opening week of practice was spent on conditioning as well as the installation of new offensive and defensive schemes. Both sides of the ball displayed flashes during the scrimmage.
“Our defense was flying around and we have high optimism about them,” Burnett said. “They're playing well right now and picking things up pretty well. We've just put our base in, some of the things we did offensively we had some success at.
“Offensively, we executed pretty well and ran our routes right. I'm really pleased with the way we're blocking on the outside. A lot of the stuff we do is quick game so we have to have our receivers blocking, and I'm pleased with their effort. We're throwing a little bit more and more and making them think and they're really trying to process. We saw some brights spots, so overall I thought it was a good start.”
The Lions begin their second week of preseason practice Monday, with the week's worth of work concluding Saturday morning at Liberty Hill in the first of two scrimmages. The second will be held against Burnet on Aug. 23 at Gordon Wood Stadium.
“I want to see a lot of retention in what we've done this week,” Burnett said in regard to his second week practice goals. “I want to see growth mentally so that we can go out and execute when we're on the field. I also want to see us keep implementing our offense and defense and keep the same intensity we've had and desire to get out here and get better every day.”
The regular season opens Aug. 31 when Brock visits Gordon Wood Stadium for a 5:30 p.m. encounter that will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Southwest.