After one practice and a scout meeting at Calhoun High in Port Lavaca, I have a few impressions.
At first, I was a little thrown off by the scouting process and atmosphere but the more you look at the system the more sense it makes. As I wrote in my first post about the Sandcrabs, the way things are done in Lavaca are kind of unique. The multiple option offense they run, all the two-way players and even their nickname are not what you typically see in successful big-school Texas programs. Add to this the fact that they have very few D I prospects and someone who didn’t know better might assume this to be a struggling program rather than one that has built a great tradition as a perennial 4A power.
While the Sandcrabs use the same scouting program as almost everyone else (HUDL), they probably rely on the computer less than any other team I’m covering. The reason for this is in keeping with the philosophical underpinnings of the program. The rarity of the option offense they run means Coach Whitaker and the offensive staff are often in the dark when it comes to using film to determine how they will be defended. They make educated guesses based on what they see, but they won’t really know how Somerset will try to stop them until they line up Friday night.
But, it doesn’t matter anyway, the offensive package is complete and has built in ways to attack any front. Whatever the defense tries to take away will open a different option for the Sandcrabs, it’s simply up to the offensive staff to recognize what’s there and exploit it.
Of course, the coaches can only make the right calls, the players need to execute correctly or the entire chess game falls apart. Seeing them on the practice field, on the sidelines or during pregame, the Sandcrabs don’t look all that impressive. In fact, most of them don’t look like good football players until they’re playing football.
This is the second part of the unstated philosophy. This is a system that allows marginal athletes to play outstanding football thorough coordinated action, outstanding technique and hard work. The line has just two blocking schemes and the backfield works the same option drills every day, from 7th grade up, until they can do it blindfolded.
The final piece of the puzzle is the speed training, weight training and conditioning that turns average high school boys into an outstanding football team. It’s a simple system, but deceptively well organized and elegant in its implementation. They believe in doing a few things very well and that when combined with multiple formations and a few wrinkles, they can solve any defense they see.