COULEE CITY — Football programs geared back up across the area as players and coaches returned to the field for practice in preparation for the 2019 season. Almira/Coulee-Hartline is coming off a second-place finish last year, falling in the 1B state championship game to Odessa.
The Warriors have found a lot of success the past few seasons, with titles in both 2015 and 2017. The team will look to build off this past success as it moves into this season.
Head coach Brandon Walsh said every season is different coming in, despite the achievements the team has had in recent years.
“It’s kind of walking that fine line of reminding them of the success we come from and what it takes to get there, but also to not be overconfident because we come from that tradition of success,” Walsh said.
In these early practices the ACH head coach said he looks to work on the fundamentals and technique that have led to a winning formula in the past.
“Football’s a game of execution,” Walsh said. “We’re looking for kids who are kind of dialed in, know their assignments. Luckily, that’s usually not a problem year to year because we don’t change much with what we’re doing.”
Walsh said most kids start learning the system in middle school and are familiar with how it works by the time they reach the high school level.
Losing a number of seniors from last year’s team, Walsh said he is looking early on to see who can fill into those vacant spots.
“There’s those kids who are coming back that contributed at the varsity level, and they’re kind of locked in to those spots,” Walsh said. “From there, it’s all about trying to find where we can fill the holes of the guys that graduated.”
In the first practice on Wednesday, the Warriors head coach said he was happy with what he got out of his players.
“It was great,” Walsh said. “This time of year, effort is always awesome. They’re excited to be back out there, and they’re wanting to impress.”
While the players were having fun, bouncing around in the opening practice, Walsh said he hopes the effort and bounce will still be there once the soreness comes in after the first few days back.