The new head coach likes what he sees so far from his squad at the Salem High School Football Camp.
The first session of camp was last week. The final week of action is slated for Monday through Friday of this week, from 7-9:45 a.m. The Tigers are scheduled to add contact to this week’s sessions.
“It was good,” said Salem first-year head coach Lane Howard of last week’s camp action. “All the kids we are counting on were there, and we had some new kids come out.”
Howard said between 40-to-45 players attended camp sessions last week. He said since 80 percent of his players have summer jobs, that’s pretty good.
“We expect 55 to 60 (9-12 graders) for Aug. 10,” Howard said.
The first official day of practice is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 10. Unless COVID-19 precautions change things, the Tigers are scheduled to practice from 7-10 a.m. Aug. 10-14.
Howard was appointed Tiger interim head coach in late June after Dylan Wyrick resigned to take the head coaching post at his alma mater, Potosi.
A 2011 Salem High graduate who has been on the Tiger coaching staff as an assistant the past four seasons, Howard feels the transition has been smooth despite the late coaching change.
“Our staff is a pretty close group and has worked well together the last four or five years,” Howard said. “That has really helped the transition.”
Assistant Kyle Anderson will serve as offensive coordinator and assistant Tony Edwards as defensive coordinator.
Salem has most of its starters back on both sides of the ball from last season’s 7-4 squad.
“We’ve moved some guys around to meet some needs,” Howard said. “We’ve talked a lot on alignments and responsibilities and have been installing our offense and defense. A lot of it is review but being out of school for four months, it’s almost like you’re back to square one.”
Many of the Tiger players are noticeably bigger, stronger and faster.
“We’ve seen some physical maturity,” Howard said. “(Senior receiver/defensive back) Dawson Mock, (junior two-way lineman) Travis Fulton and (sophomore inside linebacker/running back) Easton May have all gotten bigger and faster. (Junior receiver/cornerback) Kaden Coffman has bulked up and still has gotten faster. And (junior tight end/defensive end) Bradlee Gover has added a lot of size.”