From community cleanups to rising ninth-grader signing days to being at every event possible for Benjamin Russell football, it’s all been leading up to spring practice.
New Wildcats head coach Aubrey Blackwell had been hard at work with the middle school more as the spring campaign comes forth. It’s left an air of excitement for Blackwell and his staff as well as the players.
“There are a lot of new faces and a lot of faces are coming back out,” Blackwell said. “It’s gonna be a fun, electric atmosphere. We’re going to try and play loud music and have fun and start establishing how we want to do things.”
However, weather has put a brief halt on things this week so the Wildcats will have to wait to really get into the nuts and bolts of spring time, but Blackwell says the kids are excited. The weight room has been even more exciting.
“The last two weeks really have been electric,” Blackwell said with a smile. “They can smell it. They can smell that we’re getting ready to put the pads back on and they’ve been excited through all the times that we’re teaching them and work as best as we can in our five-on-ones and making sure they’re learning about what’s happening and how they’re doing it.”
However, the coaching staff at BRHS won’t go into the season cold. They’ve already been hard at work with the middle school installing parts of the scheme that Blackwell will run at the high school. It’s a common practice for coaches to try and bring the middle school program along and develop that talent there.
“We’ve been actually coaching middle school now for two weeks,” Blackwell said. “We’re on our second week of middle school practice and our coaching staff is in rhythm. We’re back in it so we’re excited and we’re gonna try not to get too tired before our guys get here.”
The atmosphere at practice will continue the trend of being different and new to everyone who walks around BRHS. Just like their new head coach, the excitement he shares in other sports is going to transfer across to his own team.
“This type of atmosphere is gonna be different for them too so I want them to understand that the practice time belongs to me but we’re gonna have fun when we do it,” Blackwell said. “And they’ve come to work. This senior class, the rising senior class I’m really proud of. They want to be the ones that turn it around and from this point forward, we never look back. That’s what we’ve been talking to them about.”
Blackwell remains open about a number of things with his players. Including his mental aspect and approach to the game of football. It’s all on the table around BRHS.
“That’s me makin’ sure they hear my heart,” Blackwell admitted. “I’m constantly talking about how and what my mental aspect is in games. When people come to play at Martin-Savarese stadium they’re in for a war. We’ve got to go ahead and set that mindset that we’re going to restore the Wildcat toughness.”