After finishing the 2010 campaign 3-7, Bradwell’s football team has started to prepare in earnest for the upcoming season.
The Tigers had winter off-season weight workouts, and Tiger football coach Jim Walsh Jr. said he was pleased with the progress his team showed during spring football.
“We had a really productive spring this year. We learned a lot and understand that we have a lot to prove this season. I am really looking forward to this season,” Walsh said.
Since the first week of June, the Tigers have been in the weight room four days a week. Walsh said an average of 40-60 players attend each session.
“The kids are doing what we are asking of them. They are really getting stronger and working hard in the weight room,” Walsh said.
During his playing days at the University of South Carolina, Walsh was an offensive guard and considered undersized at his position. Walsh found his equalizer in the USC weight room, where, he said, he gained more confidence and also was the strongest player on the team for two years.
“The obvious benefit of the weight room is strength, but more important is the confidence that players are gaining. We are getting thicker and seeing visible gains,” Walsh said.
He noted that he and his staff will not know the real gains made this year until players are tested at the end of July.
Two key areas where the Tigers really have improved during the off season are leadership and communication, the coach said.
“There are some players who are stepping forward to lead in the weight room, and with some players being gone for various reasons during the summer, they are communicating with us about being gone and when they will back, which has been a pleasant surprise,” he said.
Though the Tigers primarily will rely on running the football this season, they have been participating in a 7-on-7 passing league on Thursday nights in Richmond Hill.
“Even with missing some personnel, we have looked really strong and have been able to throw and catch the ball while changing formations,” Walsh said.
Meanwhile, Bradwell track and secondary coach DeAndre Davis is working to help the Tigers get faster. Davis’ regimen is set up to allow players to work on position-specific speed.
“We are doing traditional speed work, but also doing work with power sleds and tires for the linemen. I am also having players do a lot of short bursts and explosion along with plyometrics,” Davis said.
Walsh thinks all of the work that the Tigers are putting in will pay off Aug. 26 when Bradwell opens the season at Glynn Academy.
“The players are working hard and we are building momentum as we get ready to start practice Aug. 1. I am really excited about the coming season,” Walsh said.