Era

The Era Hornets have a new football coach in Terry Felderhoff and that has given them a new lease on life.

A new coaching style, different expectations and offensive attitude accompany Felderhoff and he said the athletes are embracing the first few weeks of workouts.

“It’s going well,” Felderhoff said. “The kids are working hard and they’re doing what we ask. We’re pretty pleased with everything that’s going on. Their attitudes and effort has been good. We turned some of our agility stuff into some competition and they were working hard and competing. They are coming along. You see a little bit here and there. I’m pretty pleased.”

The Hornets have responded well to the influx of competitive drills in the recent workouts, according to Felderhoff.

“It’s one of those deals where they’re competing and that’s all you can ask,” Felderhoff said. “Through those drills, they’re getting better but they’re also enjoying it too. They did well. Everybody is coming in with a clean slate. That’s the beauty of a new coach. There are no preconceived notions on spots. To me, everything is wide open. That can always change, especially with a new guy.”

Felderhoff said he can tell some of the cream is rising to the top during practices.

“There are some that are taking leadership roles in subtle ways,” Felderhoff said. “They don’t realize it, but I’ve noticed. There are some things here and there that are trying to be the leaders and that’s what really helps the team is when you have good leadership and do things the right way. Other kids are willing to follow. It will take a little time, but I think we’ll be alright in that area.”

The Hornets will have a young football squad next year and while Felderhoff recognizes there will be a learning curve early in the season, he thinks that could pay off in the future.

“I think being really young, sometimes that can be a detriment, but on the other hand, there is that excitement that it’s their turn,” Felderhoff said. “They’re ready and raring to go and they want to prove themselves. There is a balance there for sure. When kids finally get out of the shadow of someone else, they want to show what they can do and usually they respond.”

The weight room is also going well in Felderhoff’s eyes as he wants his athletes to focus on explosive techniques.

“We’ve made some gains, but we’ve got a long way to go yet,” Felderhoff said. “It doesn’t happen over night, but we’ll get there. It’s one thing I’ve been preaching. If you work hard and you do things right, eventually you will be rewarded. It will all come to fruition at some point.”

One of the first areas Felderhoff wanted to spotlight when he got here was the aerial side of football.

“We’ve thrown a lot of balls the past few weeks,” Felderhoff said. “We’ve put a lot of balls in the air and this week was a lot better than last week. It’s just a skill that they’re developing. They’re doing well. As far as the offensive line stuff, they’re going over that stuff too.”

While Felderhoff recognizes there is work to be done in that area, he doesn’t want too much emphasis put on throwing the ball.

“What we’ve developed over the years and what I plan on doing here is a very multiple, balanced type offense,” Felderhoff said. “We can pull out bits and pieces of what fits the kids well, but it’s more of a spread mentality. We want to run the ball and be balanced. In a perfect world, we’ll probably run the ball more than throw it and when I’ve had really good teams, we were balanced. It just stresses the defense that much more.”

The summer is a good time to teach formations in Felderhoff’s opinion, but right now, getting in as much action as possible for all sports is the top priority.

“The first week, everything is brand new,” Felderhoff said. “This week I say something, they react and I don’t have to explain and then you can add another layer to it. The other sports are going well and the athletes are used to those coaches. It’s for the overall good of the program and you don’t want to burn them out on one sport. It’s what needs to be done. There needs to be some variety. We’ve had good numbers every day and not just on the days we did football.”

Patrick Hayslip can be reached at sports@gainesvilleregister.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip

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