Originally Published: Aug 25, 2009 4:37 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Reporter
COLLINSVILLE, Oklahoma – Don’t expect the players at Collinsville High School to be out of gas when the fourth quarter rolls around. This year, conditioning is a high priority.
“We worked extremely hard all summer long,” said Cardinal head coach Lance West. “We’re in as good of condition as we’ve ever in my time as head coach here.”
Their practices look a lot like marathons in the beginning and track meets at the end. Post-practice huddles are a mixture of coaches loud praises and players louder breathing. And according to West, the conditioning chorus will continue all season long.
“We’ve got to be very well conditioned,” said West. “We run a pretty aggressive defense so that’s one of our points of interest is to be as quick and fast as we can be.”
Along with that aggressive defense, Collinsville plans to be equally as aggressive on offense in 2009.
The Cardinal offense will get a shake up that includes a golden twist. Collinsville with adopt a no-huddle offense similar to the one the Golden Hurricane runs at the University of Tulsa.
That’s the same record-setting offense that averaged 47 points per game last season in Conference USA. In order to have that kind of success in 4-A this season, Collinsville will have to stay focused and keep the conditioning at a high level.
“It’s tough,” explained senior running back Merin Oakley. The fourth quarter rolls around, down by three, three minutes left. You got to get that guy feeing to keep up. Being well conditioned always helps with that.”
Collinsville hopes their hard work with pay off this season.
“We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing,” said senior linebacker Steven Majike. “I mean, we are all working really hard and running and conditioning. We’re in better shape that we’ve ever been. Just have to keep it up.”
Collinsville starts on the road in 2009 with another rivalry-type of game on the road.
“Mannford at Mannford,” explained coach West. “We’re extremely excited. They’re an extremely well coached team. There was a good game here last year and we expect it to be a battle.”
Winning and losing is the mark of a successful program and coach West hopes his team can continue to improve each day and let the wins and losses come when they come.
“We want to get passed us first. That’s our goal. We want to master us. If we can do that, we’ll be a good team.”