By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– The Boys in The Green and Gold are just days away from starting their Fall Training season in Salem; 12 to be exact and 30 until their season opener at West Salem High School.
In the meantime though, the McKay Football Team are at South Albany High School Wednesday evening as they close out their seven-on-seven season and wrapping up their summer training versus The Rebels and West Albany.
To this point, the excitement and confidence has been building since their spring practice and seven-on’s at Salem Academy back in May.
“Definitely looking back to the seven-on-seven over at Salem Academy and the seven-on-seven that we’ve and over here,” started Matt Jarding. “You can definitely see the improvement from each time and last seven-on-seven we had, we had a massive improvement.
“So it’s good that to see that and it gives the kids a lot of energy and gives them a lot of positive energy to go out and want to compete more.”
With Josh Riddell entering his first Fall Camp at the helm as Royal Scot Head Coach, he’s liking how they carried the momentum into this moment after his arrival on campus.
“I like it,” he said. “I like right now with just the energy of the kids right now, they’re excited. They want to compete and that’s what we’re trying to bring as a coaches staff to the table that we’re going to compete and do everything we can do.
“Wither that’s with our conditioning in the morning at 9am or we’re out here. We’re competing at everything we do, we’re trying to get better and the kids are embracing it and it’s awesome to see, it’s good to see.”
McKay, despite the Dead Week off, came out firing as they did against McNary and South Albany two weeks ago. Scoring offensively, raising havoc defensively and so on as they look like they’re hitting their groove at the right time entering their Fall two-a-days.
The good thing about what these summer training sessions provide is a chance to see what a team need to work on entering camp.
For the Scots, one thing sticks out: Timing on Offense with the Riddell-System since it is so different than what they ran under former Head Coach Brett Rhodes.
With most kids having summer sports going on, basketball and baseball or family vacations or work during this time, the Fall camp will give them an opportunity to sharpen the timing and to learn the current system more preciously.
But their strength will lie with what they were successful at last year: Running the Ball.
“Our strength will probably be our run game because we ran the Wing-T last year and we’re really familiar with that,” said Jarding.
But, there’s time to pan out the final details as they look to carry this momentum into camp and that shouldn’t be a problem as everyone have already put into play this momentum said Riddell.
“I think it’s going to carry over just fine, those seniors and juniors,” said Riddell. “Those kids are showing up strong each week, just continuing to provide that leadership by example and also by telling kids to get here, we need you here now, you’re an important part of this team, let’s do it together.
“Because when you see success out here at seven-on-seven or just anywhere, it’s contagious, you have a lot more fun and kids are out here enjoying themselves instead of out here not competing. We’re out here having fun, but we’re competing at the same time.
As for excitement for August 15, well it needs no words for any athlete or former athlete that can agree:
It’s just there.
“Oh I’m really excited to put some pads on and start competing,” said Jarding. “it’s going to be great, I’m really excited.”
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PHOTO GALLERY (PICTURES BY JEREMY MCDONALD)