The wait on the first official practice for the first-year Wooster head coach is over as the Generals’ preseason kicked off Monday, July 30, with the first two-a-day practices and scrimmages. Monday was hardly the first day the team has been together, though, as Haas and his staff recently wrapped up their allotted use of 10 contact days with the team over the summer as they attended a camp at Ohio Northern University.
“(The camp) was really good, it really was,” said Haas. “From a standpoint of camaraderie and team building and understanding expectations, the kids responded well. We did a lot of football in a short amount of time and I thought it was a good experience.
“The primary objective was to install the base offense and defense systems. We were able to do that throughout the 10 days allotted over summer. We took what the state gave us in 10 days, split it in half and used the first five to install our base system and the second five to reinforce it. From a camp standpoint, going to Ohio Northern was set up by design.”
While he would have preferred a Star Trek-type transporter rather than having the team jump on school buses to make the 2.5-hour trek to Ada, Haas was grateful to even have the opportunity. The camp was made available through community sponsorship rather than coming out of athletic department funds, a point Haas noted.
“We took 58 kids, which was great,” the first-year head coach said. “From a community standpoint, someone sponsored a kid and I was pleased to be able to take that many kids up there. We felt good about that. I want to give my thanks to those community members who sponsored those kids so we could attend camp. It was very beneficial for us … and I appreciate that (we could participate in the camp).”
Wooster was one of four high schools that participated in the three-day, two-night July 23-25 camp. Columbus St. Charles, Twinsburg and Mansfield Madison joined the Generals at ONU.
“We practiced Monday afternoon and then Monday night we did a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage with St. Charles and Twinsburg,” said Haas. “Tuesday we had what was essentially a two-a-day practice, which was a dress rehearsal (for the official start to practice), and the third practice we introduced our entire special teams system.
“Wednesday we had one practice in the morning, had lunch and then came home. We had five practices and spent three hours on Monday, three on Tuesday and then three on Wednesday.”
While it certainly gave Haas and his staff a heads-up on the upcoming season, “It was hard to get a barometer because it was still just helmets,” said Haas.
“For the most part we understood where to go and line up when the ball was snapped,” he added. “It’s a matter of now executing the fundamental things and putting them in a position to be successful. We need to take the next developmental step when we put the pads on (August 1).
“I am glad to get started with two-a-day practices. It will be a challenge, it will be hard and a struggle for the kids, but we’re looking forward to that challenge. The kids had a great first day and I hope to see progress each and every day.”
Published: August 12, 2012