By Tony Adams
The footballs are inflated. The helmets and pads have been issued. The practice jerseys are hung in the lockers. The cleats are laced.
Welcome back to football: Belton Tigers-style.
The Tigers reported to camp on Monday, fit and in shape, both mentally and physically. With summer workout program in effect, many of the team attended. Of the team members, 12 players attended every workout session.
“You have some mental lapses and you’re not in game shape,” said Belton head coach Rodney Southern. “They’re in lifting-weights shape, but not game shape. In mental sharpness on a scale of one to 10, we were about a 7…7 ½ maybe.”
Though the team will not don the pads until Friday, the team has been on the grass practice field in helmets and shorts in the morning, while performing walk throughs in the afternoon.
But on Friday, once the pads are on, the game is on.
With the scrimmage with Austin LBJ and Waco just over a week away, the Tigers are in the opening stages of putting the 2012 season behind them. Belton finished 6-4 one season ago, but only 3-4 in District 8-5A, out of the playoffs.
Shane Stafford is the anticipated starting quarterback of 2013 Tigers. He was impressed with the early going of camp. But along with the early stages of camp, mental flaws were detected, but can be easily fixed.
“It’s making sure we line up in the right position and run the right routes,” said Stafford. “It takes some people two days, some people two weeks. Everybody will get it eventually.”
Following the Aug. 23 scrimmage, the Tigers will not see the game field for two weeks. Zero Week is the bye week for Belton. Week one will be the home opener for Big Red as the Stony Point Tigers come calling for a non-district tilt Sept. 6.
District 8-5A play opens up at home on Sept. 27 against the Harker Heights Knights.