The last leg of my three team mini-marathon was Stamford whom I visited yesterday morning. As with Throckmorton the night before, this was the first padded practice they would have this season. Around 80 players were dressed and practicing of this school of 180 students. Again, like all the small schools I’m covering, they have a great percentage of kids out, over 50% of the boys padded up.
I compare it to most of the small schools back home and most struggle to keep one 8-man team on the field, while Stamford has two strong 11-man teams with solid numbers. It will be interesting to try to figure out what’s responsible for such great turnouts.
The Bulldogs are returning 8 starters on each side of the ball from a team that advanced to the state finals last year. They are expected to contend again this season. As I arrived the 8 varsity and JV coaches were putting the players through individual drills. One pattern I’m starting to see is just how much attention these outstanding programs pay to their younger kids. Becoming a good high school football player is a long process and the staff is ensuring the long term success of the program by making sure the next generation of Stamford Bulldogs do things the right way.
After a break, the jv and varsity went their separate ways and both had filmed intrasquad scrimmages.
After the scrimmages the varsity went to the weight room and did a very quick and efficient workout run by Coach Hutchinson. I was very impressed by how well they worked and the strength this 1A squad had. I’m sure the weight room is another reason Stamford has had so much success.
I confess I didn’t stay around long enough or talk to enough people to gain a lot of insight into Stamford. I was still very tired from the previous, long day and left to find a room in Abilene as soon as they left the field. I’ll be back in mid-September for the week of the Colorado game.