By Kevin Eickman
There is an old adage that many coaches live by, “You practice how you play.” If the final spring practice of Milford football is any indication, fans should buckle up their seatbelts because it looks like there may be some fun times ahead. While spring practice is non-contact it gives a chance challenge the offense and evaluate the returning players for the upcoming season.
The pace was fast throughout the practice, even through the fourth day in a row of training. “We want to keep the pace quick, we want to get the play in quick and get going,” Coach Shaun Strickland stated.
One thing that looked apparent is that Milford might be airing it out a little more this year. Freshman Shawn Saxon, who entrenched himself as the starter last season, looked very comfortable running the offense. The soon to be sophomore looks poised in an offense run primarily out of the shotgun and looks very comfortable with his pre-snap reads. “Shawn has put a lot of work in and it is showing on the field,” Strickland stated. “He grew up a great deal last season and he looks to be continuing that upward trend.”
It was not just the offense flying around the field, however, as the defense kept things moving rapidly too. They adjusted to formations and motion, while taking advantage of teachable moments such as proper positioning and leverage. “When we have time like this we can show a player and we can show a player how to better align themselves pre-snap, that just makes things so much easier on every member on the defense,” said Strickland.
One of the defensive coaches is Quinn Abbott , q Milford alum returning home. Abbott played mostly quarterback as a Buccaneer and it allows him a unique perspective on how to dissect an offense. Abbott coached at North Carline in Maryland the last few seasons, in a program that showed constant improvement. “I have wanted Quinn to be a part of this staff for quite a while and when the opportunity presented itself we were thrilled” Strickland said. “He is a Buccaneer to the core. Even when he was coaching at North Caroline he would still make it over to catch every game he could.”
While practice is one thing, off-season conditioning is another. With the summer weight program set to start, Strickland knows that the gym is where the real work begins to set in. “You can see pretty quickly the kind of player you have by how they commit to conditioning. Everyone can’t be here all the time over the summer but it’s the players who make the effort and are here as much as they can be that inevitably stand out on the field. We can draw up plays, we can make elaborate plans, but we can’t do the work for them. That is something they have to embrace on their own,” he said.
To see the Bucs in action this summer, you can catch them 4 pm July 24 at DE Turf, participating in a 7 on 7 against other local schools.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.