Nederland, Memorial coaches break down Spring ball goals for gridiron

Published 12:34 am Saturday, March 19, 2022

High school football players across the state will take another step next week in preparation for the 2022 season.

Spring ball is widely recognized as the first time student athletes work on position drills and playbook concepts since the season ended the previous year.

Nederland Head Coach Monte Barrow said the weather in Southeast Texas tends to dictate what is possible. The colder weather of the winter makes it difficult to do drills outside, so teams focus on weight training.

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With the students taking this past week off for spring break, Barrow said his team will likely take the first week of spring ball to mitigate any losses in the weight room before taking the field.

“We don’t want them to lose what they have done in the weight room,” Barrow said. “Early next week, the weather doesn’t look too good so we might just pick it up the following week on the following Monday.”

Memorial will graduate a significant portion of its roster in a few months, meaning the players who will be on varsity next year have to use this time wisely, Titans Head Coach Brian Morgan said.

“We will be trying fill some holes,” he said. “For many of them, we have a pretty good idea of who they are going to be. There are a couple who are still battling through offseason. We are just trying to get things installed and taught. We are not only graduating good players, but guys who have played a lot of football. A lot of those guys played three years, and over time, they learn a lot. Now you are starting at the point of developing experience.”

Barrow said the new season is especially helpful for skill position players.

“We get into more of the skill development,” he said. “From now until the end of school, we will focus on those individual skills and position development. It is way more important than the players will ever realize. At that age, they are focused on what is coming five or six months down the road. This is a huge time. This is big for the young guys, because this will be our first time to see them against older guys instead of freshman against freshman.”

The Titans and Bulldogs will start new quarterbacks and several skill position players next season. While 7-on-7 tournaments create familiarity between a quarterback and his targets away from school, spring football helps solidify those bonds, coaches said.

“They can’t get enough of throwing and catching together,” Barrow said. “More than trying to qualify for a state tournament, that is the real benefit of 7-on-7.”