Steve Hoffman didn’t blink.
Didn’t hesitate. Didn’t clear his throat.
Didn’t need to.
“Crucial,’’ Hoffman said. “It’s crucial.’’
That’s how Hoffman described what two-a-days meant to his Corsicana Tigers, who will be at Tiger Stadium at 6:30 a.m. Monday to take the first steps of the 2013 football season.
They’re here — Two-a-days are here. They show up Monday in all their heat and glory. High school football teams all over Texas begin practice. Everybody is unbeaten. Everybody is headed for the state title.
You can cut the optimism with a knife.
Each of the nine teams in the Golden Circle start anew with their own unique set of problems and their own set of stars and dreamers — but everyone has the same dream.
For Hoffman, who was hired in April to head one of the most tradition-rich programs in Texas, the summer practices are “crucial.’’
“I came in late (in April) but the kids have been great. They have bought into what we want to do. But they still have a lot to learn and we didn’t have a full off-season,’’ Hoffman said. “And it will be our first time to be seeing them in pads. You have an idea what a kid can do, but you don’t know until you see them in pads.’’
Hoffman wants a physical team and a smart team. His kids have to be. He runs a lot of formations, and his offense will be a unique hybrid — part spread and part Wing-T.
He wants to throw the ball, but he also loves the run.
“It’s a new system for these kids,’’ said Hoffman, who had Corsicana playing in a 7-on-7 league this summer for the first time in years. His 7-on-7 team had a chance to run some of his new offense and the team finished second in the Teague league. Corsicana’s linemen, who will be led by center Chris Jones, who started as a sophomore when Corsicana went to the state semifinals, won the Big Man competition this summer.
Everyone is anxious to see the return of quarterback Devontay Bell, who was out for most of last year with a torn ACL. Bell is back, and he’s running 4.5 40s these days. Nobody want to get back on the field and win more than he does, and every player on both sides of the line feels like this is going to be a big year at Corsicana.
“It seems like it couldn’t get here fast enough,’’ senior defensive end Donavon Hailey said. “We’re ready for two-days. We’re ready for a big year.’’
Steve Hoffman didn’t blink.
Morgan; Remembering House and a better era
The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.
GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win
His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
“I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''
Outdoors: Kevin Reese: Summer time means summer tracking
With only two months before opening day of archery season you should already have your bow maintenance complete, be shooting daily and chomping at the bit for our favorite day to arrive!
Let’s face it, few animals turn our rotors like whitetail deer.
All-State Baseball: Corsicana's Harlan and Wolver honored on TSWA/Collin Street Bakery 4A All-State Baseball team
Corsicana junior Brady Harlan and sophomore Layton Wolver were honored on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 4A All-State Baseball team that was announced Tuesday night.
Gymnastics: Kaylana Dickson celebrates national title with fans and her uncle David Hawthorne
Kaylana Dickson got the name Bebop on her way to winning a national title in gymnastics this summer, and boy did it catch fire.
Kaylana, a Corsicana native, picked up fans from all over the country and many bought Bebop T-shirts to help pay her expenses to Spokane, Wa., where she won the 8-and-under title in the double-mini trampoline event and finished third in floor exercise.
More than 100 of her friends, family members and fans showed up at the Corsicana YMCA on Saturday to celebrate the national title and be on hand for a drawing for an autographed New Orleans Saints football jersey from David Hawthorne, a star defensive lineman for the Saints and Kaylana's uncle
All-State Baseball: TSWA/Collin Street Bakery All-State 3A baseball team is announced
The Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 3A All-State Baseball Team was announced Tuesday.
UIL Football: State championships to be held at AT&T Stadium
The 2014 University Interscholastic League Football State Championship games will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington the League announced Tuesday.
All-State Baseball: Sunnyvale's Wilcox tops TSWA/Collin Street Bakery Class 2A team
Sunnyvale's Jake Wilcox is player of the year on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 2A All-State Baseball Team
GC Baseball: Kerens' Anderson makes TSWA/Collin Street Bakery all-state team at four positions
Call it the rarest of rares, at least as far as all-state teams go. Brett Anderson of Kerens shows up on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery all-state team not one, not two, not three, but four times. Dawson's Lane Dotson was a second-team outfielder, and the Bulldogs' Trent Underwood made the third-team as a pitcher, and also garnered an honorable mention nod at first base. Kerens outfielder Brent Warren was also an honorable mention pick.
Morgan: All-star games and all-star shame
If there is anything more useless than a political promise, it’s an all-star game. I don’t care what sport at what level. Any all-star game is simply an exhibition, a reward for being among the best (maybe). Any one of them is about as relevant as the IRS’s “dog ate my homework” excuse for losing emails.
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