The snap is made. Routes are run. A pass is thrown.
Just another summer practice for North Vermillion coach Tommy Byler.
Preparing for a new season, Byler has a lot of teaching to do. The Patriots are young this year, but there is potential.
With a small number of upper classmen, barely more than 20, his work this summer has focused more on the basics, as well as building some depth and moving some players to the offensive line.
It’s not just the line that needs some filling out, though, as Byler spends the remainder of the summer getting multiple quarterbacks ready and filling in gaps in the defensive crew.
One of the biggest gaps to fill belonged to Tim Baudoin, who excelled at the linebacker position, and prolific running back Jeremy James.
But it’s not just the players getting an education. Also joining the team is former Erath coach Destin Dieterich, coming to assist with the offensive line. With a new coach and new players at the line, it’s been more education than strategy development.
“They’re fine-tuning some things and working on terminology,” Byler said. “I tell them ‘I don’t care how you teach it, I’ve given the job to you.’”
Despite being opposing coaches last year, Byler trusts him. “Here’s a guy who has football as his priority. He wants to learn football.”
With full padded practices coming soon, it’ll be time to take the lessons learned last spring and this summer and apply them for the fall season.
Byler is taking the opportunity to change his tactics on offense, aiming for more of an option game from the shotgun formation, but there are a few tricks up his sleeves for a strong passing game.
As far as the season itself, Byler says that he’s a little short-handed right now, but rest assured, the Patriots will be at every game.
“I think the district is going to be a lot better. We won a lot of games there, but Franklin was young, and they’ll be better. Abbeville was young and they’ll be better.” Kaplan and Erath have been facing some changes, as well.
With so many games being up in the air, Byler said, “We’ve got to be ready.” The time for teaching is almost over.