The Russellville football team will be practicing this summer to get ready for their upcoming season. File photo.
The Russellville football team will be practicing this summer to get ready for their upcoming season. File photo.

Archived Story

Russellville gearing up for fall

Published 1:32pm Tuesday, June 10, 2014

By Matt Wilson

For the FCT

Russellville High School recently finished their spring practices for football back on May 23, but the summer months are a busy time for the players and new head football coach Mark Heaton.

Part of the program’s summer regiment includes workouts four days a week and organized team activities (OTA) for the players. But the 7-on-7 tournaments that Russellville participates in around the area during the summer might prove to be some of the most important off-season work according to Heaton.

“Those tournaments give us a chance to compete and see some live action against other teams,” Heaton said.

“You always want a chance for your team to compete.”

Heaton said that the workouts and the OTAs are important throughout the summer for the players to sharpen their particular skills, but the 7-on-7 tournaments allow the staff to start installing offensive and defensive schemes and packages.

“The tournaments let us see different offensive and defensive packages from teams around the area and it lets our staff start putting in different passing packages and put in different defensive looks,” Heaton said.

“So once fall practices start, our team can already be to the point where we can focus on game week plans. We can be in our season routines from the beginning of the season—we’ll be ready to roll.”

As the new head coach, Heaton said it will be important to be that prepared.

“We have a core group of players that have some good experience,” Heaton said.

“Having that and having the tradition and expectations here at Russellville are going to be our strengths this year.

“The only weakness is needing to get acclimated. But we are starting to build trust among our team and our staff and our community.”

Some of the Russellville Golden Tigers will be heading down to the campus of the University of Alabama-Birmingham June 18 for the UAB Quarterback and Wide Receiver Camp.

“This is always a really good camp and he has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in Alabama,” Heaton said.

“It is not a mandatory thing for our players but I have encouraged our guys to make it down there.”

Russellville will kick off the month of July with the Mike King Kicking camp July 1 at Russellville’s campus.

“That’s going to be a good day down here,” Heaton said.

“It is good exposure for Russellville High School and good exposure for UNA and all the communities in North Alabama.

“It is a great camp for kickers and long snappers and we’re really looking forward to it.”

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