Shoemaker fourth-year head coach Channon Hall had goose bumps in the middle of the Grey Wolves’ Tuesday practice.
“It’s just Day 2 and all of the coaches were watching our defense get fired up while doing simple conditioning drills,” Hall said. “Our defense was energized, focused and very loud. They were really enthusiastic.
“Well, all of our offensive players then come off the curb after running and they see all this enthusiasm.
“So both units got together and ran straight into the weight room all yelling and screaming together with energy.
“All of this spontaneous energy came from the players themselves. So, yes, it gave us coaches goose bumps.”
Coming off its greatest season in school history, Hall likes what he sees after two days of practice.
“I had wanted to see a lot of energy and focus from my players in the first two days,” Hall said. “And that’s exactly what I saw. I can tell my guys are ready to hit somebody. I had to pull them back. As a coaching staff, we feel good about
the energy level of our program right now. Our team leaders have stepped up to the forefront.”
Some of those players that have impressed Hall with their show of leadership are Derrick Thomas, Sir Duncan, Joseph Massey, Kerry Walker and Teneak Hall.
It is the 5-foot-8, 195-pound Hall, a senior inside linebacker, who is responsible for setting the tone for Shoemaker’s defense.
“Teneak is our emotional leader,” said coach Hall. “He brings that fire. He gets those guys all fired up and they follow his lead. He’s been very emotional so far — and that’s exactly what we expected out of him.”
By UIL rules, Shoemaker players won’t be able to wear shoulder pads until Friday.
“Our guys are fired up for Friday,” coach Hall said. “They know that’s the first day for full hitting. As coaches, we know we’ll have to hold our kids back a little on Friday. We have to be careful but not too careful. We don’t want our kids killing each other. But, then again, it is football — and I want our kids to show me that they have energy.”