Linfield linebacker, Jaymin Jackson, is going to be keeping you up-to-date on his 2009 Spring Football session that covers the last three weeks of April. Wildcat11 is going to get out to spring football this week and shoot some video and try to get some scoops but WC11 did miss this past week due to a crazy week. Jay jotted down his thoughts after each day in a running diary so be sure to check back each Monday for your Spring Football update. Go 'Cats!!!!
The initial feeling right now is stress. I am writing this entry in Micro Economics right now and I’m trying to figure out how I am going to adjust my schedule so I can make time for studies and ball. I am looking forward to this day for a long time, it just so happens I have two tests this week which is unfortunate. The first day of spring football has been something that has been marked on my schedule for a very long time. The team has been waking up at 6:30 every morning for 2 ½ months to prepare for next season. When you work as hard as we do, you are eager to see you hard work pay off. With spring practice being here, you have an opportunity to work on your time management. Coach has sent out multiple emails encouraging us to get our homework done early that way we can attend all the meeting and practice. For me, this means I can’t play COD 5 with fellow teammate Buddy Saxon. I am sure that we will make up those hours missed this weekend.
The first spring practice meeting went very well. Coach Rombach was putting the dry erase board to work. Coach drew up our basic defenses and coverage’s and explained the basic principles. For Alex, Partlow, Bubba and me these meeting are more for fine tuning our knowledge of the defense. After being in the program for four years, we all are basically coaches that are in uniform. The younger player’s minds are getting some work. I remember my younger days and it wasn’t fun. Trying to understand where people on crash dogs and what coverage to run behind it. After about 45min of chalk talk, coach sent us out to the field. This is where the real excitement hit you. I was ready to compete! Coach Fendall put us through a brisk warm up and we did some speed work before we hit individuals. Shortly after indys we went to 7 on 7 or skelly. Both were getting after it. Players were high fiving everywhere, chest bumps were a defensive favorite for the day. The coaches were full of energy and were coaching their butts off. After a highly intense team practice coach brought us in and gave us his thoughts about the practice. Before you knew it, it was, “One two three Linfield, one two three wildcats, one two three family.” Off to homework and sleep.
Meetings started at 5:45 today in the film room upstairs next to the football offices. It was quite a sight, we squeezed in 10 215+lbs men into a room meant for 5 maybe 6. Towards the end of the meeting the room definitely had a different scent to it. After we finished putting in our final blitz package for the day we rushed to put our cleats on. Coach Rombach let us out of meetings with just 2 minutes to get ready for practice. This is very typical of the defensive coaches to do this. Just like the day before, the weather was awful. Though today it wasn’t raining so I guess that’s a positive. Today’s theme was people losing their T-shirts. Since we can’t use pads were a limited to shirts and T’s. You would come off the first and see a bare chest defensive player who was a victim of offensive holding. Now it’s even more obvious when those guys on offense cheat. The common replies from the defensive guys were, “the shirt didn’t rip itself.” During team, I caught myself getting in the zone. I was getting hungry for some running back blood. Something about staring down a running back standing behind 300lb O-lineman gets my blood pumping. Team went well, both sides were working the kinks out and it was a successful practice. Coach Smith brought us in and sent us to Coach Fendall for a cool down. Coach Fendall had us doing some interesting stretches after a quick cool down it was off to study and sleep.
Today started off the same as the rest with position meetings but we got to watch film of the past practice. Now film sessions are probably were you are learning most as a football player. Every position gets broke down to a T. Most of the time you going into the film room thinking that you had a great practice and made some great plays. Well, that awesome practice becomes ok and those great plays turn to average. Most of the time you either made a bad read or your technique wasn’t perfect. Even it sucks hearing that you didn’t do as well as you thought on that play, you understand that the corrections are what make this place special. Not being satisfied is what makes Linfield the winningest college football program in the country. The coaches are always looking for a way for you to improve on every play. After films we headed out to the field for another great day of football. Coach Smith was limping around today in his old school blue rain gear. He suffered a knee injury during noon hoops. He has been playing basketball at noon for 13 or more years with the same group of guys. He has invited me a few times to play and let me tell you, coach has some game. Coach has a mean stop and pop game and his mid-range jump shot is super tough. His three point game is streaky but all around his game is solid. Coach Vaughn was commenting on his days on playing noon hoops. All the coaches agreed that he had a super mean three point shot. Coach Vaughn is pulling double duties right now; he is coaching the number 1 softball team in the country and being a d-coordinator at night. Another day in the books, and now it’s back home to study and sleep.
Today’s practice had a little flavor to it. The structure was the same and the players were the same, but the outfits were a little strange. Thursdays practice was “Throw Back Thursdays.” The defensive players took part in this event. You saw multiple players in John Stockton length basketball shorts and vibrant colors. Corner Bryce Comfort was sporting a flamed biker bandana. Nate Dixon was wearing a bright neon green long sleeved shirt. Not only was that strange, he also got two picks wearing the brightest outfit on the field. You knew the quarterbacks saw covering the receiver. I personally had on my UPS, “what can brown do for you?” shorts on. I picked these up at the local Wal-Mart. I also had on my 4th grade YMCA basketball shirt on. It’s my all time favorite shirt in the world. I keep in a special place in my dresser. Practice went well and the offense has started to get the timing down. A couple of new comers have impressed a lot of people because of their outstanding play. The good weather made the practice fly by. Now it’s the weekend and time to relax.