New Republic football coach Dustin Baldwin has gotten his first look at the Tigers during a series of June practices and 7-on-7 games over the past few weeks. The Tigers wrapped up their final June practice Wednesday morning, after finishing their 7-on-7 schedule earlier in the week.
For Baldwin and the players, the June session has been an opportunity to get to know each other.
“It’s been good. It’s a transition for everyone: the coaching staff and the players alike,” Baldwin says. “I think the kids are enjoying it. They’re having fun and getting better every day. We’ve got a few guys we’d still like to get out for football that haven’t been here, so our numbers aren’t quite what we want, but overall, the work ethic has been good, and kids are excited and having fun at practice and doing things right.”
This month’s practices have focused on putting Baldwin’s new system in place.
“Really, you just try to install your basic schemes and that’s all you can do,” he says. “It’s six days spread out over the course of a month, and you just want to install what you would call your bread-and-butter stuff.”
The 7-on-7 competition against other squads helped Republic’s players begin to learn Baldwin’s pass offense and defense. And Baldwin says he liked what he saw from his players during those games.
“I was pleased, because I thought we competed. There were some games where we got down early, and we came back and won. There were a couple we came back and took the lead, then lost. But we were competing, and I didn’t see a lot of heads hanging and guys bickering at each other,” he says. “They were very positive and continued to play and get better, and that’s certainly encouraging.”
Weights and conditioning will continue throught the summer, except during mandated “dead” periods, with summer football camps scheduled for mid-July. There’s also a junior high football camp set for July 17-20 and a youth camp scheduled for July 10-13.