They say you play like you practice. Center RoughRiders head football coach Kevin Goodwin is a firm believer. On Friday evening, with his team practicing in full pads for the first time this year, Goodwin called on his players to crank up the intensity to game-day level.
The ‘Riders responded by going “full throttle” in the last half of the session when the coaching staff lined them up for a full contact scrimmage.
Goodwin himself tried to “set the tone”, jumping into the action as the scout-team quarterback to help the first team defense get in some work.
The ‘Rider defense did the things a coaching staff asks, flying to the football and “putting a hat” on the man with the pigskin.
The Roughriders then wrapped up the practice with an intense drill that Goodwin installed specifically for the purpose of creating a game-night atmosphere.
With the stadium lights on, all 75-plus kids on the field gathered around a 10-foot wide alley created by blocking dummies laid down from the ten-yard line to the goal line.
Goodwin then called out six players at a time, often matching up players who are competing for starting positions.
With three players on a side, and Goodwin standing in at quarterback, the goal of the contest is to move the football into the end zone in three plays.
The hitting was fierce, and Goodwin could not be happier with the outcome.
Immediately after the conclusion of the drill, Goodwin huddled the players and addressed them saying, “That’s the kind of intensity we have to bring here every Friday night. I can guarantee you 10 48-minute sessions of that. What you do with it is up to you, but if you’ll play with that kind of intensity every week, we’ll play til December.”
The ‘Riders will scrimmage Palestine Saturday at RoughRider Stadium. The action will begin at 6 p.m.