Many coaches hit a wall in the first week of practice. It’s not that they’re too tired or aren’t used to being back in the grind of coaching football in the fall.

It’s their hoarse voice.

Whitesboro head coach Cody Fagan’s voice had less power than it usually does for Friday’s practice, but that didn’t stop him from straining those vocal cords and motivating his players.

Fagan said it just comes with being a head coach.

“I get used to it that third, fourth and fifth day and normally that first weekend, it’ll start to come back a little bit,” Fagan said of his muffled voiced. “I’m not yelling all the time, but if you’re not yelling the whole summer, it goes away. Then as you start the yell every second of every day, then it comes back a little slower.”

Fagan said he is pleased with the work his team has put in, especially considering Fagan and his system are new to Whitesboro.

“They’re good kids buying into things quickly,” Fagan said. “Anytime there’s a new staff and new things going on with practice different from they have been in the past, there’s a little bit of a learning curve there. We tried to keep as much terminology the same as we could for the kids. But at the same time, it’s just a new way of doing things and so they’ve adapted well and learned how to do it. You could see in day three and four that they were finally starting to figure out that we can practice this way and we can have fun doing it. You can sort of see that light bulb go off.”

Fagan said it was important to him to switch up how the JV and varsity team practices. From what he has seen, it has paid off in several areas.

“In the past, they practiced all together, but now we’ve sort of separated things into a JV field and varsity field,” Fagan said. “The offense works with the coaches for about an hour and defense works with them for about an hour, then we swap into the same practice again with the younger groups and vice versa. Kids are able to feel like they’re getting more out of it. Really the biggest deal with that is teaching JV kids and they get more of a commitment. They get to understand that they got the exact same practice as the varsity kids learning the same things.”

The Bearcats will travel to Commerce for their first scrimmage of the season Friday, Aug. 16.

While there is plenty to work on between now and Friday, Fagan said he has to strike a balance for the present and the future.

“You have to look ahead and make sure that you got a plan for what’s coming up,” Fagan said. “I’ve worked for some really good head coaches in the past and one of them taught me you always have to be two months ahead. You’ve gotta have a plan for what’s about to happen. Obviously, we’re not going to talk to the kids too much about way far ahead, but as a coaching staff you have to have a plan.”

The Bearcats will scrimmage Muenster on Thursday, Aug. 22 before opening their season against Anna on Friday, Aug. 30.

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

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