"Serve each other, play for each other, and win together:" Seymour football hosts scrimmages

Coach Mike Kelly and members of his Seymour football team said two things they need to work on going forward is focus and gaining confidence.

“One I think is just our mental toughness,” Kelly said after the Owls scrimmaged East Central and Bloomington North Thursday afternoon at Bulleit Stadium. “One thing you look for in football, and athletics in general, is the guys that want to come out and compete, and put their heart and soul into what they are doing, and take some pride and ownership and being the best they can possibly be.

“We’ve combined our strength training this summer. One of the emphasis and big focuses we have this summer is to develop a toughness about our athletes. We’re going to fight tooth-and-nail and we’re going to give everything we have and how we prepare, and help build on that as we progress through the summer.”

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Kelly said the team needs to work on depth.

“We realize there is a distinct one group and then there is a bit of a drop-off between our 1s and our 2s,” he said. “We’ve got to bring that second group up much quicker than they are right now.

“Today was the first real day they competed in heat. They had to battle through a good opponent in East Central in that first session, then come back after an hour break and come with some juice in the second session. I thought we came with a lot more intensity, a lot more fight. In the second session, we kind of lost the luster off the first session. I didn’t get to see what we did defensively, but I think the same sentiment was said from our defensive coaches.”

Seniors Ely Henderson, Cameron Barr and Adam Carter felt like the team has made progress, but has a long way to go.

Henderson, a wide receiver, said, “I think we’re doing pretty well for how early it is in the year, and we’re definitely making do with what we’ve got. Coach Kelly wants us to rest, and have fun and everything, but also get in some cardio, push-ups and stuff like that, do a lot of exercise on your own.”

Barr and Carter are returning offensive linemen.

“I need to work on getting my mind right and focus,” Barr said. “I feel the summer has been really good, the hardest I’ve ever worked. The coaches are pushing us very hard this year. We’re working as hard as we can.”

Barr, who started a right guard last fall said, “I felt we did pretty good (in the scrimmage). We had a lot of good plays, but we also had some things we can work on. We have a lot of effort’ hings to work on. We have to quit walking around. I still need to work on my blocking, I’m not perfect.”

Kelly said leadership is also getting a lot of attention.

“That (leadership) is something we’re still working on,” he said. “We’ve got to develop that leadership quality and that understanding. We want to have some leaders that work hard and are going to challenge themselves, and push themselves, but also challenge their teammates.

“One thing that is hard for young people to understand is how to lead. I think a lot of times it’s looked at as ‘you’ve got to do this,’ whatever the case be and be real dogmatic about it. The reality is that the server or the encourager is often times most effective and best fit in terms of leadership qualities and that’s what we’re trying to teach our guys. Serve each other, play for each other and win together.”

Carter who lined up beside Barr at right tackle last fall said, “We have to step up and become the new leaders. We (seniors) try to step in and start drills, and the coaches take over after that and get it set up. It’s been a very hard summer. The coaches have pushed us a lot harder than we ever have. I probably need to work on my pass blocking and also my mental.”

Kelly said the team will be busy following the moratorium next week.

“You’re allowed 12 padded practices,”he said. We’ve already had six, we have four in our team camp which is at the end of July, and then we have another scrimmage against Salem (date), and we pad up one more time the week prior just to put the helmets and shoulder pads back on before we compete against them.”