By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
Tucumcari football coach Dub Smith laid down the rules and outlined expectations Monday during the team’s first day of practice.
Smith told the players how important it was for them to have the right attitude, to listen to the coaches and senior leaders, and to be loyal to the team. Smith also pointed out that as an athlete and a student it was up to the individual player to steer away from bad influences such as drinking and drugs.
“You are not only letting yourself down you’re also letting your team down,” he said
“I love football and athletics,” Smith said. “But I’ll say this: getting your education is very important. We coaches want you to succeed on and off the field.”
Following the locker room meeting, the Rattlers paired off and lifted weights.
Assistant coach John Span put them through a 20-second rotation. Span and Smith walked around the multiple stations encouraging the players — pushing them to do one more repetition or to speed up their pace.
Once on the field, the workout included agility and elaborate offensive and defensive drills.
While working with the receivers, Span stressed the importance of protection.
“A cornerback will come up and try to knock your head off if you leave yourself open,” he said.
Coach Wayne Ferguson was working on defensive drills when he called the players in.
“I know it’s hot out here, but you all need to work hard. If you don’t work hard out here while we practice, you won’t see any playing time on the field.”
Smith said the coaching staff stresses to the players how important hard work is.
“They have to give 100 percent if they want to play for us,” Smith said.
Senior Brian Lopez thought the first day went well.
“It was a good workout,” Lopez said. “A great way to kick off our season.” Lopez also said he was looking forward to Thursday, “when we can pad up.”
Under New Mexico Activities Association rules, teams must spend three days in shorts and helmets before full contact can begin.
While the team worked on getting in formation and running plays the seniors called for the underclassmen to be ready and listen to the coaches for the plays
“Our senior leadership this year is going to be outstanding,” Smith said “These seniors are going to do all they can to help out these younger players — not only as team leaders but also to prepare them for when they themselves will lead.”
The Rattlers first scrimmage, “Purple vs. Gold,” is at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Rattler Stadium.