These Marysville High School football linemen go through blocking drills this morning. Today was the first day of preseason two-a-day practices for high school gridirion squads throughout Ohio. The Monarchs are preparing for their regular season opener, which will be on Friday, Aug. 24, when they host Jonathan Alder during a non-conference contest.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Marysville High School head football coach Brent Johnson has been pleased with his team’s summer efforts as preseason practice began this morning.
“The guys really practiced hard and we saw progress every day of our camp,” said Johnson, who is beginning his second season at the MHS helm.
The Monarchs, who posted a 4-6 record last year, took last week off prior to the start of today’s two-a-day sessions. Prior to that, they went through 10 days of summer camp.
Johnson said this summer’s work was easier than a year ago.
“That’s because the guys have a better understanding of our terminology,” he said. “The first year is always more difficult because everything is new.”
“The guys really competed against each other in practice,” said Johnson. “That’s what I’ve been preaching to them since I got the job.
“Our players are understanding the big picture of what we are trying to do,” he said. “That’s huge because when they understand that, we can get into more of the details with our offensive and defensive schemes.
“Our coaching staff has done a great job getting the guys to see the big picture.”
Johnson also saw progression during a couple of seven-on-seven passing scrimmages.
“We had guys coming up and giving us (the coaches) good feedback on what they saw as being open,” he said. “That is going to put us in position to be a better team.”
While Johnson feels the Monarchs are ahead of where they were last year, he knows there is still plenty of work to do.
“We’ve got experience up front on the line, but we need to continue to compete and work on our hand and eye positions,” he said. “That goes for the linebackers and running backs as well.
“We’re young on the backside of things with the secondary and at a few of the running back spots,” said Johnson. “Those guys are now going to understand the pressure of playing with the big boys.”
The Monarch coach could not point to any particular players who have stood out during summer practices.
“We’re not really evaluating things that way,” he said. “I will say that our seniors have stepped up and have talked about leading the team and about our process this year.
“We also have some juniors who know there are expectations for them,” said Johnson. “They have met them (to date).”
Johnson said the Monarchs are healthy heading into two-a-day practices.
“We have depth up front as we can rotate up to nine guys on the line,” he said. “However, there are areas in which we don’t have as much depth.
“Because of that, we can’t afford injuries this year.”
Johnson also knows what the Monarchs need to do as they gear up for the 2018 campaign.
“We just need to be consistent with our execution on offense and defense,” he said.
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