Sports Stories
football05-18small.jpgHigh schools, colleges and even the pros are suiting up and hitting the field for spring football practices. It’s a time to revisit old teammates and old playbooks.
 By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers

High schools, colleges and even the pros are suiting up and hitting the field for spring football practices.

It’s a time to revisit old teammates and old playbooks.

It’s a time where you get to play football without the pressures of a season upon you.

You just get to have fun playing your favorite game.

The Sedona Red Rock High football team is no different than any other team.

For the past two weeks, the Scorpions have been hitting the field and the weight room to show the coaches what they’re made of.

“Essentially, spring football lays the groundwork. It’s a mindset that we are trying to get across that successful programs do things in the offseason so they can be successful in the fall,” Head Football Coach Brian Batty said.

On the first day, student-athletes were raring to go, as 42 kids showed up ready to play some football.

“We use the first couple days for testing, and we get into some weight room stuff. It’s really about getting the kids thinking about football again,” Batty said.

Not only do the kids participate in 40-yard dashes and run receiver routes, but they begin to learn new things about the football program.

“Next year, we are going to implement some new things on offense, and spring football gives us a chance to introduce it,” Batty said.

To you, 42 football players might not seem like enough, especially with offense, defense and special teams spots to fill.

But in this town, 42 students showing up wanting to play football is a big number.

“If the 40 kids that we have can get stronger, and get faster and are more dedicated to the things we want to get done, then we will be successful,” Batty said.

Batty, entering his second year as head coach, has a positive outlook for next  season.

“Last year being my first year, I had to learn the kids and the kids had to learn me,” Batty said.

“I’m excited about this group for next season, and I think we can be pretty good,” he said.

With only five seniors not returning from last year’s team, the Scorpions will certainly have more experience than they did last season.

“The good thing this year is we’ll have eight returnees on offense and defense,” Batty said.

“This year, we have a good core group of seniors and a good group of juniors coming back. I’m excited to be able to count on the older kids to be the leaders,” he said.

Batty also looks for improvement out of his returning players and looks for them to set the tone for the younger players.

“This spring we have looked more athletic, and we looked like we knew what we were doing out there,” Batty said.

Some of the top returnees are all-region players Aaron Fraser, Tyler Horchak, Chris Kamas and Danny Wyatt.

Also returning is all-state kicker Jordan Burke.

“If you see progress, you always get more excited about it,” Batty said.

With spring football, coach Batty also wants to see what the player morale is.

“Hopefully, spring football creates an excitement about what we’re trying to do,” Batty said.

With one year under his belt, Batty is looking to turn the Scorpions football program around, one step at a time.

“I would like to get in the position where we are not rebuilding every year,” Batty said.

football5-18large.jpg“I would like to be a program where other programs expect us to be there when the playoffs roll around,” he said.

The next step for the football program and the student-athletes is lifting weights over the summer.

“Kids today have to understand that lifting is important — you get stronger, you have less injuries and you become a better athlete,” Batty said.

Lifting will begin for football players Monday, June 4. It will go five days a week from 8 to 11 a.m. at the high school.

Batty believes in hard work, determination and, most of all, commitment.

“You want kids to show up, and they should actually want to be here. They have to buy into the program or it is not going to work out for them,” Batty said.

Lastly, Batty talks about the life lessons learned while playing football.

“If you skip things and cut corners now, you will do that later in life. So you must learn to do the things that you don’t want to do sometimes,” Batty said.

One thing’s for sure, the Scorpions will be ready to go next season, where hopefully all this hard work will pay off.


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