LAMPASAS — Playing football is hard work, and the Lampasas Badgers are finding out the hard way they are not quite ready for the season.
The Badgers received their first taste of action Friday evening, hosting Wimberley and Marble Falls in a three-team scrimmage. While the experience was beneficial, it was also a wake-up call, according to head coach Brian Emerson.
“We have some kids who are going to have to play on both sides of the football in key situations,” he said, “and they realized it is tough. They are going to have to take their conditioning very, very seriously.”
While Emerson was quick to point out his players have not ignored the physical aspect of the game and the endurance it requires, he knows the additional time on the field can be a shock to the system.
At times, the added toll of playing both ways was evident during the team’s first scrimmage.
After running three segments of uninterrupted plays, the teams each took part in two nine-minute live quarters conducted under real game conditions.
In the first series against Wimberley, the Badgers committed a pair of turnovers and the offensive line gave up a sack, while Marble Falls was able to construct a pair of time-consuming drives and force a three-and-out against Lampasas’ offense.
“I think any of the problems we had mentally were due to conditioning,” Emerson said, “which is to be expected at this point in the season.”
While their energy and stamina could improve, Emerson was pleased with his team’s overall performance after playing to a scoreless tie against the Texans and ending its period against the Mustangs with a 7-0 advantage.
According to the coach, more important than the score, however, is the fact the Badgers were exposed to various styles and situations.
“It is important that the kids don’t get used to a personality in front of them,” Emerson said.
“They have to adapt to different personnel and individuals that are blocking or covering them or whatever. So that was good for them to learn to be flexible both mentally and physically.”
Lampasas wraps up its preseason schedule Thursday evening against Waco Connally, and Emerson hopes his team can quickly adjust to the physical and philosophical demands being placed on them before opening the season against Fredericksburg on Aug. 29.
“We just want to keep refining what we are doing,” he said.
“Early in the season, kids are always trying to figure out how they fit in, and hopefully, with another week under our belts, we’ll be able to do that.”