By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– A few days removed from their 20-17 loss against West Salem High School on the road, the McKay Football team were back at it Monday afternoon as they prepare for their home opener versus McMinnville this upcoming Friday.
You could see the sting of how the game ended Friday, but the team had that same look, that desire, this Monday in preparation for the Grizzlies as they did in prepartation with the Titans.
Head Coach Josh Riddell enjoyed how his team competed and battled as they focus on fixing the mistakes they committed.
“I think more than anything what we liked as a coaching staff and the players is the way we competed and the way we battled,” said Riddell. “I mean, you watched film, we made some mistakes, we made a lot of mistakes but we are going to full speed when we’re doing those, when you go full speed you have a chance to make things happen. What I like about from watching the film is, ‘man, we have guys busting their butts going full speed.’
Riddell points out that they’ll fix the errors and mistakes made Friday this week in practice, and though the result wasn’t what they wanted, people around the Salem Community have been talking about the Royals Scots performance against a perennial Playoff Contender in West Salem.
“I had a lot of people coming up to me and say, ‘those guys at McKay, they’re flying around, they’re playing hard, busting their butts’ and that made me proud,” he said. “I know how much time we’ve put in as coaches and not just us, but the players put in.
“I mean I want them to be rewarded with the time they’ve put in and I think a lot of the time on Friday night we were rewarded with that, yeah we didn’t finish the game, we need to learn how to do that and we will continue to do that as the season progresses a little bit.”
As the team walked through a few of the things that needs improvement, the technical stuff and the things that they can control described Riddell, the team continued to hit their stride as they did last week.
“We’re trying to get better at the things we need to get better at,” said Riddell. “Such as steps, offensive line wise. Quarterback getting their eyes on the guys that we need to be getting our eyes on. Just things like that, I mean the things that we can control.”
Mid-practice, the Varsity coaching staff, in amidst of having the Varsity Team do sprints, joined their players in doing sprints. Something that Riddell takes pride in even though he was a wee-bit fatigued afterwards.
“Running sprint for me I was a little tired,” laughed Riddell. “But I can tell you one thing, when they see us as coaches doing it. Putting in the type of work that they need to be doing then they’ll be able to, ‘hey shoot, coach is doing it. He’s old, fat and lazy. Why shouldn’t we be doing it’. So I think they see that and they can feed off of that a little bit.
As for the first home game of the season, there’s excitement; and with school beginning Tuesday, it’ll be a great way to ring in the new school year.
“I’m excited because first off school is going to be in session now, so those kids are going to hear about, ‘hey we got a game Friday’, thing like that and hopefully we get a good showing,” said Riddell.
“I hope we do because those kids, our kids, we bust our butts and we play hard. It’s something people want to come and see. So hopefully we get the Student Body here, we can get them excited and we can go out and compete and possibly end up on the right side of the scoreboard this week.”
Friday’s Home Opener versus McMinnville (1-0) for the Scots (0-1) is at 7pm at McKay High School.
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Photos of Freshman, JV and Varsity team’s (Pictures by Jeremy McDonald)