If anything slows down Free State High football practice this week, it might be the team’s new offensive assignments. Coach Bob Lisher said the Firebirds have some new wrinkles on defense, too, but those are minimal compared to the other side of the line of scrimmage.
“We’re asking our receivers to play in the backfield, play at receiver — they’ve got a lot of things to know,” Lisher said. “But it’s not like we threw it all at them on Day 1. They’ve had all summer to get it down.”
When breakdowns occur, Lisher wants them resolved quickly so the team can maximize what it accomplishes before the season kicks off Sept. 6 at home, against Shawnee Mission North.
Free State’s players will go through their first trial run during a scrimmage at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Almost real football
As excited as Lawrence football coach Dirk Wedd was to start practice this week, he and his staff just want to get the first few days over with, so the Lions can get to Thursday and wear full pads.
“We’ve got a whole bunch of guys running around in pajamas,” Wedd said of the first three practice days. “We won’t know anything until the end of the week.”
LHS will have a team scrimmage Saturday at approximately 1 p.m.
The volleyball and boys soccer programs at both Free State and Lawrence experienced such high numbers of students trying out this week that coaches will have to make cuts in the coming days.
FSHS volleyball coach Nancy Hopkins said while she could have determined the varsity roster by Tuesday, tryouts extend to today to figure out which players comprise the sub-varsity teams. LHS volleyball coach Stephanie Magnuson said tryouts might end today or Thursday, depending on the difficulty of the coaches’ decisions.
Hopkins said Free State can offer 40 to 42 roster spots, but 54 girls are trying out.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had to cut that many,” she said.
Free State boys soccer coach Kelly Barah said roughly 80 players are vying for spots and cuts will come today, before the Firebirds get to their regular practice routine Thursday.
Lawrence soccer coach Mike Murphy said students who didn’t play last year are trying out, as well as 27 freshmen. Because many made it to summer workouts, Murhpy at least isn’t seeing many of the players for the first time, as tryouts ended Tuesday.
“It’s a tough situation,” Murphy said. “There’s good and bad. It’s great to have good numbers, but cuts are never good.”