Mountain View Football Training Camp
Mountain View Thunder
Coach Adam Mathieson
This takes practice, too:
Every team has its own way of doing pre-game warm-ups on Friday nights. Get to a game early enough, and you see the precision, with 50, 60, 70 guys lining up perfectly for stretching routines.
A whistle here, and the teams break up into position groups. Another whistle, and it’s time for team drills. Nothing fancy, just something to get the legs going before the game starts.
We’ve all seen it, but we never really think about it.
Sure enough, pre-game takes practice, too.
“You just have got to cover every single detail,” Mountain View coach Adam Mathieson said Friday as I watched the Thunder in their pre-game practice.
The players even lined up on the sideline for the national anthem. Guess what? There was no singer, so Mathieson had the players sing it. None will be making it to Hollywood on American Idol, but it wasn’t bad. Plus, that’s a darn tough song to sing, so I say, “Well done, Thunder.”
Anyway, back to the practice. Once pre-game was done, the Thunder pretended they had just played a half of football. They practiced getting to the locker room in a hurry and then simulated what a halftime would be like: Coaches asking players about their opponents, and the coaches quickly making adjustments.
There is not much time at halftime, and the purpose of this drill on a Friday afternoon one week before a real game was to show the players that even though it might be halftime, they must remain focused. Those adjustments can be the difference between a win and a loss, and the players need to be paying attention.
“It’s really important to still go through it and prepare,” said senior Drew Bryant, who pretty much already knows how to act during pre-game and halftime. “The freshmen are looking up to us. It’s important we set an example.”
Oh yes, the freshmen. For the players returning to the program, this is a reminder. But for the new players in the program, this has to be learned.
“It’s huge,” senior P.J. Jones said. “I remember what it was like to be a freshman.”
Another new starting quarterback:
For the third year in a row, Mountain View has a senior starting at quarterback. Ryan Hansen will get the call this season.
But don’t think he comes in with no experience.
Last year, Hansen played the third series of each half, just to get a feel for varsity speed.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked,” Mathieson said. “He brings leadership skills, and he has the ability to make plays with his legs. He’s a great high school athlete. He keeps things alive.”
Another solid athlete:
P.J. Jones was a wide receiver early last season before switching to running back. He expects to carry much of the load this season for the Thunder, then get back to what he does best: baseball.
Jones expects to sign a Division I letter of intent in baseball later this school year.
Mathieson said most Division I athletes are strong in any other sport they play.
“P.J. is looking really good on the football field,” he said.