Cool temperatures greet Big Blue football team

Above, offensive coordinator Hunter Hamrick gets down and dirty with the players, while (right) Austin Caffey and James David lead the team through gasser drills at the end of practice. Above, offensive coordinator Hunter Hamrick gets down and dirty with the players, while (right) Austin Caffey and James David lead the team through gasser drills at the end of practice. There were smiles all around and a little extra spring in the step as cooler temperatures in the low 80s greeted 81 Rockdale football players as the Tigers reported for two-adays bright and early Monday morning.

“ Yea, this is great,” said Rockdale’s Jeff Miller, who begins his seventh season as head coach. “You couldn’t ask for better weather for a better start.”

The number of players who showed up for the first day of practice is the lowest in Miller’s seven-year tenure and the lowest since 2001, but if you look at the percentage of football players compared to the declining RISD enrollment, it’s actually higher than last season (18 percent to 17.1 percent).

Regardless of the mathmatics, Miller was crowing about his team’s attitude and conditioning.

“All-in-all it was about as good a first day as we have ever had. They all came out with a great attitude about team concept. There is a lot of respect among the kids and no selfishness. It is all about how good the team can be when no one person gets the credit.”

Depth could be a problem for the Tigers, which makes it of the utmost importance for each player to do the task they have been assigned.

“We have some quality depth at certain positions, but our success will depend on those willing to play their roles and feel good about it.

“We have a long way to go to be a good football team and if we continue on this path of the first week, we have a chance to be pretty good.”

Because of new UIL guidelines which prohibit two-a-days on consecutive days, practices will alternate between two schedules throughout summer practices.

On alternating days, the Tigers will practice from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and then the next day from 7-10:30 and then again from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The practice of Aug. 13 will mark the Tigers’ first practice in full pads.

While the opening day of the regular season is Friday, Aug. 31, when the Tigers travel to Salado for the 7:30 kickoff, Rockdale has a couple of scrimmages set up before then.

The Tigers host Marlin on Friday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. for their first scrimmage and then on Thursday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. will travel to Robinson.

The annual “Meet the Tigers” social and cake auction will take place Friday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.

Tiger Tracks

Miller reports one move-in with the addition of sophomore kicker Adolpho Chivera from Mexico. Chivera will back up veteran Tiger kicker, senior Noe Zelaya... Because the new practice field is not quite ready, the Tigers have been practicing on Tiger Field... While he is still receiving offers from all over the country, junior linebacker James David has still not made a decision on where he will play.

Junior high

Rockdale Junior High football and volleyball players can begin picking up their equipment on Friday, Aug. 15 with practices to begin on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Football equipment will be issued on Friday, Aug. 20 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. for eighth graders, while the seventh graders can receive their equipment from 10 to 11:30 p.m.

Junior high players may purchase their own football cleats, but they must be black.

Practices begin Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 7 to 8:50 a.m. for seventh graders and at 2:51 to 4:40 p.m. for eighth graders.

Volleyball equipment will also be handed out on Friday, Aug. 15 for the eighth graders from 8 to 9 a.m. and the seventh graders from 9 to 10 a.m.

Practices begin Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Seventh graders will practice from 6:45 to 8:50 a.m. and eighth graders from 3:40 to 5 p.m.

All athletes must have physicals and other paper work turned in and on file to participate and get their equipment.

Press Day

According to Miller, picture day/press day for RHS football and athletic trainers has been set for Saturday, Aug. 11 beginning at 8 a.m. at Tiger Field.

Mom and sons picture will also be taken.

Volleyball pictures will be taken the same day at 8 a.m.

tiger turnout

Here’s a look at how many players have turned out for football, dating back to 2000:

2011 97
2010 95
2009 90
2008 102
2007 97
2006 100
2005 85
2004 100
2003 87
2002 103
2001 83
2000 105

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