Lindsay football

The Lindsay ISD summer conditioning program was well attended, sporting 65-70 kids every day.

Lindsay athletic director Jeff Smiley is entering his second season as head coach for the Knights and now that he and his coaching staff have had a full year under their collective belts, the progress made by the athletes is much further ahead than it was this time last season.

“Since we were able to directly work with the kids this summer, as far as running and doing some actual football-specific stuff, we have probably 75% of our offense in,” Smiley said. “This time last year, we had no offense. We didn’t know what the kids could do. Now that we’ve been with the kids for a year, we have adapted things to what we feel like the kids can do, and we’ve adapted our scheme to take advantage of what our kids can do.”

Now, Smiley and the Knights’ expectations have jumped considerably. The Knights went 5-6 last season.

“We’re gonna hit the ground running because we’re so much further ahead,” Smiley said. “From a knowledge standpoint, we’re miles ahead. We can go out there right now and run it — maybe not perfect — but we could run it. And it’s pretty much the same way defensively. So you know, that’s an advantage for us, but it’s just a natural progression. The expectations are way higher at this point.”

Smiley was also quick to compliment his staff for their dedication this summer.

“My assistant coaches have done an outstanding job this summer,” Smiley said. “They’ve been here nearly all day. I had to tell them to go home, you know, so I’ve been really pleased with our system. There has been a great commitment on their part to make our program better.”

Despite the couple injuries sustained this summer, Smiley said the team is moving full speed ahead into fall practices next week.

“Anytime you lose a kid to an injury at any point of the year, you get a sick feeling in your stomach because number one, you hate it for the kid,” Smiley said. “And then number two, you hate it for the program because anytime you lose starters, that’s going to hurt your program. We’re at the point in our program where somebody has to step up. It’s kind of the next-man-up philosophy. It’s an opportunity for somebody else to get playing time. We’ll be fine.”

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

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