Summer practices set the stage for fall games


Sarah Boutouis

Pictured: football coaching staff stands on the field during summer practice. Football, track athletes, as well as Red Rhythm and Cheer began practices over the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Harley Classe, Editor-in-Chief

With school sporting events being put to a temporary stop over at the end of the 2021-2022 school, Redhawk athletes were quick to bounce back a few weeks for summer practices.

“The objective of summer training is for the athletes to build an endurance base,” cross country coach Khera Vay said. “For cross country, this means that all of the runs are based on long mileage or timed runs to try to help increase that endurance.”

Practices look different across the diverse range of athletes on campus.

“As far as Liberty cross country is concerned, the athletes do all of June on their own,” Vay said. “Then, in July, we have some team check-ins on Tuesdays and Thursdays before we get rolling in August. So cyber training is just an opportunity for athletes to build their endurance base, figure out who their teammates are, and really start working towards their season goals.”

While cross country begins individually in June, football never really seems to take a rest continuing straight into the summer with skills and strength camps.

“I thought we had a really good summer,” athletic coordinator Matt Swinnea said. “Attendance at skills was strong which enabled us to be ahead of where we were at this time last year. Being able to execute well is imperative and I think we are in a good place in that regard.”

Under UIL rules, football teams are allowed either 18 padded practices in the spring or to begin a week earlier with a scrimmage in the fall. For Redhawk varsity, waiting until the fall was the right decision for them this year.

“We think this will be a benefit as we assimilate many new players and coaches alike,” Swinnea said. “We also get an additional scrimmage. With only a small number of players returning with varsity experience, the opportunity to have two game-like competitions provides valuable experience in a condensed period of time.”

For quarterback, senior Will Jackson, summer practices are a great way to be ready to go when August hits.

“All summer we’ve been getting our allotted work in whenever we can,” Jackson said. “We hit the ground running as soon as we get into the season so that we don’t have to go back and revise anything. We are immediately on our feet and ready to go. Without summer practices that wouldn’t be possible.”

Ultimately, for coaches and athletes alike, the main goal of these crucial two months is to form the bonds and acquire the skills necessary to have a successful season.

“It really brings us together,” football player, senior Alex Trevino said. “Giving us this extra time to practice helps set us up for the season and get a good start to the year.”

Along with summer practices for those on the field, there are practices for those on the sidelines. Red Rhythm and the cheerleaders also began early in June.

“There are so many little details that I didn’t appreciate until joining the team,” Red Rhythm member, freshman Mason Classe said. “Having time over the summer, both at Line Camp and during August training, to really learn these little nuances has made me feel more comfortable being a new team member. I would be much less successful if I didn’t have the summer to learn our choreography, our counts, and get to know one another.”