PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

August 5, 2013

David Coleman: Opening day schoolboy football talking points

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

NEDERLAND — Here’s some things to talk about while I try to come up with a better name for this …



1) Reviewing practice rules



Since football has again returned to the Golden Triangle via practices opening up at schools across the area, let’s review the rules put into place last season about the first four days of camp.



Teams were allowed to begin “conditioning” work on Monday and must go four days without pads. There can be no contact activities in said practices, though teams can run two-a-day workouts during this time. The only “contact” equipment that can be worn in this time is helmets. That means no shoulder, hip or thigh pads. Do players even wear hip pads anymore?



Oh, and the UIL also defined “contact” for its 90 minutes per week rule. Meant to limit full contact practices, the UIL will let teams do the following types of practices without counting toward the 90 minute limit.



* Air- Players should run unopposed without bags or any opposition

* Bags- activity is executed against a bag, shield or pad to allow for a soft-contact

surface, with or without the resistance of a teammate or coach standing behind the

bag.

* Wrap-Drills run at full speed until contact, which is above the waist with the

players remaining on their feet.

* Thud- Same as wrap but tempo is competitive with no pre-determined winner and

the players are not tackling to the ground



See? Not really something that will change how teams practice. Most of the teams in the area only go “thud” during game weeks anyway.



2) Babe Ruth World Series team not affecting Nederland football



The Mid-County Babe Ruth 16-18 all-star team is heading to the World Series in Alabama in about a week. There are a number of athletes from the area on the team, including Kanton Richard, Seth Barrow and Aaron Graham.



However, there won’t be any current Nederland players on there, so there shouldn’t be any guys missing practice time to go compete at the highest level of Babe Ruth this year. That has happened in the past, but this year’s team only has three Nederland players on the roster.



The Babe Ruth World Series for the 16-18 age group will be held in Covington County, Ala. from Aug. 15 through Aug. 22. The Mid-County group won the Southwest Regional tournament last weekend to earn a berth in the Series.



3) Coaching up the new targeting rules



As Nederland’s defensive practice in the morning was winding down Monday, head coach Larry Neumann made a point to tell his players about the new targeting rules the NCAA and the UIL are implementing this year.



Any penalty for targeting an offensive player will result in an ejection from the game. Neumann emphasized this while also trying to teach good tackling form. Oh, and also emphasized that the players are in shirts and shorts, so don’t do anything crazy.



To make his point, he told his players not to be like Jack Tatum, the Raiders Hall of Fame safety known as the “Hitman.” Question: how many current Nederland players have any clue who Jack Tatum is?



This reporter certainly does, as his hit on Earl Campbell at the goal line, where the Tyler Rose bounced off and still scored the touchdown, may be one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. I may not be old enough to have seen it live, but that’s what they have YouTube for, right?



David Coleman is a sportswriter for the Port Arthur News. He can be emailed at dcoleman@panews.com and found on Twitter at @MDavidColeman.