The Lindsay Knights finally have a foundation under their belts after a season with head coach Jeff Smiley installing his defensive schemes and offensive coordinator Zach Birdwell taking care of the play-calling.
As the football team transitioned into their spring workouts and now into the summer, Smiley said he has noticed this summer has gone much more smoothly.
“The kids know the expectations and the procedures,” Smiley said. “We feel like the program’s in place now where the kids operate it on their own, so we feel real good from that standpoint. Our numbers have been good and they’ve tailed off a little bit like they always do this time of year with kids going to camps and vacations and things like that, but we feel like we have pretty good numbers.”
Smiley is thankful to have more pieces in place this season.
“I didn’t even have an offensive coordinator this time last year and we didn’t have a trainer, so from that standpoint the familiarity with the kids is much higher,” Smiley said. “There’s also a trust factor. Last summer, they were just trying to figure me out, and I was trying to figure them out. Now the program’s in place.”
With just a few weeks before two-a-day practices begin, Smiley said the work the athletes were putting in this summer will have an immediate payoff.
“We’re so much further ahead in every aspect of our program, not just physically but mentally,” Smiley said. “From a scheme standpoint, athletic programs have a certain successful flow to them in offseason, so we feel like we flow pretty good right now.”
The area Smiley has seen the most growth is in the weight room.
“That’s what I’m most excited about is we feel like physically, we have helped ourselves tremendously,” Smiley said. “All that goes back to the weight room. It started back in January, and our kids committed to the weight room. They understand its importance and we’ve made some really good strides. Strength wise, we weren’t anywhere near where we needed to be last fall from a strength standpoint yet. But we feel like we’ve had a really good offseason. We figured out the other day that we’re 800 pounds stronger on the offensive line.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip