Everything is new.
The Sweetwater Junior High School football program has only been in existence for several months following its creation in January, which means everything regarding the team is fresh, including its first-year players and coaching staff.
But that’s been more invigorating than anything for head coach Jeremy Lorenz as his program finishes its first ever round of spring practice.
“It’s been an exciting time,” Lorenz said. “And I have been extremely pleased with the effort of everyone involved, everyone from my managers to the players. I have a great coaching staff. The administration, the support that they’ve given. Coach (Mike) Martin at Sweetwater High School has been out here every day.
“It’s just an exciting time. Yeah, it’s hard, it’s something new. But we’re up for the challenge. My coaching staff and I and the kids have responded well.”
The team practiced at least three days each week the past three weeks, with the coaching staff working with players on fundamentals instead of preparing for an opponent, as it didn’t schedule any scrimmages for the spring practice period.
Lorenz said that, although the players have been faced with an “information overload” due to their youth and inexperience with the game, he has been pleased with the way they have responded mentally.
“You can’t limit them,” Lorenz said. “There’s no limits involved here. So we decided early on that we’re going to push them as hard as we can push them.”
Lorenz’ staff includes assistant coaches Jason Upton, Greg Brown, Ryan Bookout, Kevin Watson and Eddie Byrum. The group already has a plan in place for what it wants the team to look like scheme and physicality-wise come this fall.
“We are going to be a zone team and first and foremost, we’re going to try to be a physical team,” Lorenz said. “And that’s the mindset that we’ve kind of brought into this spring is we’re going to be physical on both sides of the ball and we’re going to try to punish people as much as we can through tempo and physical play.”
The team will practice three days a week in the summer starting the first week of June. The work will include separate time in the weight room and on the field, with players improving their technique.
After the dead period, Sweetwater will go through its first full days of practice and will begin implementing what it needs to in order to be ready for the program’s first official season.
“We’re excited about being Team One and we’ve kind of entitled this, ‘Team One, One Team,’” Lorenz said. “The guys have embraced that and they’re excited about working hard and getting to it and getting down to business. We just appreciate the community for their excitement and their support that they’ve given us and shown us.
“And we hope that, when the season comes, that everyone comes out and supports these young men for all the hard work that they’ve done.”