Sunday, August 22, 2010

Training camp report No. 8: Hoosick Falls High School

Hoosick Falls High School senior Garrett Foster (57) rises to address the team following Saturday's practice. (Photo by Will Montgomery - The Record).

HOOSICK FALLS -- The high school football team at Hoosick Falls won't be searching for leadership this season.

Garrett Foster stood up and delivered an impassioned speech following Saturday's practice, urging his teammates to pick up the hustle and listen to their coaches and bring their "A-games" to Monday's session.

Later, Hoosick Falls head coach Ron Jones told me he had to kick senior quarterback Mike Brewster and some of his receivers off the field at nights after he locked up the weight room.

"I have to kick Mike Brewster off the field at night so I can go put my daughter to bed. I swear to God," Jones laughed. "I love having that problem."

Look for more on this story in our 48-page high school football preview section - Kickoff 2010 - which will be published inside The Record on Thursday, September 2.

"It’s flying by. I can’t believe the first week is already over," senior wide receiver and defensive end Steve Colvin said. "After each practice, you go, geez, I wonder if I could have done that a little bit harder, if I could have pushed that guy a little bit farther. You go to the next practice and you keep having to find a way to get better and better and better. Everyone around you is getting better. That’s what it’s going to take to win championships."

Ron Jones addresses his team during a practice session this week at the town park. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

The Panthers might be looking for inexperienced players to step up this season, as they lose three starters on the offensive line from last year's Section II Class C Super Bowl championship team. Six starters on each side of the ball are gone in total.

Still, with vocal leaders like Foster and Brewster, Jones isn't afraid to turn the rah-rah part of the job over to them.

"As long as it can be relatively positive," Jones said. "This is their thing. I’m going to be here for a long time, yeah, it’s my thing, but it means a lot more when it’s coming from players. They listen to me enough. Those are the guys that are giving the right message."

Senior quarterback Mike Brewster, yes, he is one of the singing Brewster Brothers, is looking to lead the Panthers back to a Section II Class C Super Bowl and beyond in 2010. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Foster and David Couch are the two returning starters on the offensive line and they are looking to protect their quarterback above all.

“I have a really good connection with our quarterback, Mike,” Foster said. “I wouldn’t let anything happen to him. I let him get hit once last year, against Bronxville, and it won’t happen again. I promised him that.”

Brad Burns, a sophomore running back and linebacker, catches a pass during a recent practice. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

About a dozen Hoosick Falls players did not miss a single weight lifting session this summer, which is doubly impressive since the Panthers opened the weight room in the morning and in the evening five days a week.

"You have to bring it every year," Couch said. "You can’t settle for last year. We want to make it one more step. We want to go to the dome this year. We have to bring it all back. To replace people, we have to go one step at a time to build back up to the championship team we were last year."

Not only did the double sessions in the weight room pay dividends, but so has a special physical education elective at the high school. A number of football players - as well as other athletes at the school, including the girls - can take a gym class that focuses more on weight training and speed workouts than it does on dodgeball and pickup basketball games.

A new press box casts a slightly different profile on the Hoosick Falls High School football field this season. (Photo by Will Montgomery - The Record).

One of the biggest challenges this season for the Panthers will be replacing running back Alex Hansen, who ran the spread option with Mike Brewster so well last year. Tanner Williams and Brad Burns will likely be absorbing a majority of those carries.

"Us seniors, we know we have to step it up because we know, geez, this is our last year," Colvin said. "Time is running out and you have to do what you have to do right now."

The Hoosick Falls football team runs through a scrimmage drill late in Saturday's morning practice at the high school. (Photo by Will Montgomery - The Record).

Hoosick Falls playbook
COACH: Ron Jones
STARTERS RETURNING: 5 offense, 5 defense
2009 RECORD: 11-1
NICKNAME: Panthers
DEFENSE: 3-5-3
DIVISION: Class C, North

Hoosick Falls, 2009 game-by-game results
Schuylerville, W 39-19
Tamarac, W 40-13
Corinth, W 21-7
CHATHAM, W 17-14@
Bronxville, L 28-27$
*Section II Class C quarterfinals
!Section II Class C semifinals
@Section II Class C Super Bowl
#NYS Class C quarterfinals
$NYS Class C semifinals
Home games in CAPS

Hoosick Falls, 2009 stats review
Rushing, Att, Yds., Avg., TDs
Alex Hansen, 215, 1575, 7.3, 26
Mike Brewster, 84, 450, 5.4, 4
Passing, Comp., Att., Yds., Avg., TDs
Mike Brewster, 113, 184, 1651, 14.6, 19
Receiving, No., Yds., Avg., TDs
Logan O’Brien, 37, 500, 13.5, 3
Tanner Williams, 25, 361, 14.4, 3
Kevin McMahon, 17, 323, 19.0, 4
Alex Hansen, 16, 318, 19.9, 5
Scoring, TD, 2-pt, PAT, FG, Tot.
Alex Hansen, 31, 3, 0, 0, 192

Hoosick Falls, 2010 schedule
Friday Sept. 3, vs. Corinth, 7 p.m.
Friday Sept. 10, at Mechanicville, 7 p.m.
Friday Sept. 17, at Greenwich, 7 p.m.
Friday Sept. 24, vs. Granville, 7 p.m.
Saturday Oct. 2, at Hoosic Valley, 1 p.m.
Saturday Oct. 9, at Fonda-Fultonville, 1 p.m.
Friday Oct. 15, vs. Lake George, 7 p.m.

Hoosick Falls’ three keys to the season
1, The offensive line. The Panthers return two veteran starters up front, but will remodel the front five.
2, Cause turnovers. "It’s easier to get a turnover than a three-and-out, or at least way more beneficial," said head coach Ron Jones.
3, Avoid key injuries. "We’ll condition hard because we have to stay healthy," said Jones.

Keep checking back on the blog for a training camp report posted every day between now and opening day of the high school football season on Thursday, Sept. 2. The schools will be posted in no particular order, so please be patient if you don't see your school right away.

Also keep your eyes open for our 48-page preview section - Kickoff 2010 - which hits the newsstands inside The Record on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Previous training camp reports:
No. 1, Lansingburgh High School
No. 2, Cohoes High School
No. 3, Watervliet High School
No. 4, Columbia High School
No. 5, Catholic Central High School
No. 6, Christian Brothers Academy
No. 7, Rensselaer High School

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