Alvarez gets to know staff, players during first Bulldawg football camp
By TJ MAXWELL
The Young Bulldawgs and Junior Bulldawgs Football Camps held this week at Copperas Cove High School gave new head football coach and athletic director Jack Alvarez an opportunity to see his upcoming players in action and to get his new coaches on the same page before the season officially gets underway with the first day of practice on Monday.
Alvarez likes what he’s seen so far.
“The future is bright,” said Alvarez at the conclusion of the Young Bulldawg Camp on Thursday. “We’ve got a lot of kids whose attitude and work ethic seems to be great. The cupboard is definitely not bare in Cove. We’ve had a good week and this has been a good opportunity for us to install some plays on offense and defense as well as some philosophy.
“This week has been good for our coaches to be able to come out and teach some of the basics then go back in the classroom and go over it. It’s one thing to learn in the classroom but then to be able to come out and coach it, critique it and fine-tune it going into next week is going to be a big help for us. Next week not being our first rattle out of the box is a great opportunity for not only the kids but the coaches as well.”
Longtime camp organizer and assistant coach Jeff Shannon echoed those sentiments.
“This week is probably is more important than the past several years because it’s not one or two coaches that are new to the program and having to learn the Xs and Os,” said Shannon. “The whole staff is learning and excited about the learning process. It has helped us out tremendously being able to come out here with these campers this week and get the coaches going in that respect.”
A new philosophy and revamped coaching staff has Shannon excited as well.
“From a coaching perspective, the new blood feels really good,” he said. “New coaches are coming in and being upbeat. The support and everything that’s going on is great. You don’t even have to ask anybody to contribute and that’s what I like about it. Everyone is just chipping in.”
The change in location from Bulldawg Stadium to the practice fields behind the annex has streamlined the process as well.
“I think the change of location helped us, too, because everything was right here,” said Shannon. “We did some hide and wait things with a combine feel and we did some equipment check-outs and things we needed to handle with our campers this week and we were able to do that because of the location we chose to do it at.
“As far as the camp in general, I thought the kids had a great time. We tried to structure it in a way that we had some football drills but will also incorporated some games and competitions that we just wanted to stress to the kids.”
Alvarez concluded the camp with fun day filled with competition and combine-like drills as a reward for the 120-plus campers’ hard work this week.
“There has got to be reward,” he said. “When you’re looking at football, the game day is the reward. So, Friday is always a reward (for the varsity) - especially when you win. Whatever night you play, that’s your reward because it is hard work. Not everybody can get out in 110-degree heat and run around as fast as they can, give great effort and have a great attitude about it but these guys have done that all week long. We wanted it to be fun today. We had a little combine almost like a baby NFL combine where we gave them their pro shuttle time, hide, wait and a 40-yard dash time. I think that’s fun for them to walk away like they’ve been at training camp all week and they walk away with their stats to show to go home and show mom, dad, uncle, aunt or whoever they want to look at it.”
Overall, Alvarez was pleased with how the week went and is excited about getting to work next week with the entire program.
“I think we had between 120 and 130 kids total out here all week,” he said. Coach Shannon has been pretty much in charge of the camp, getting everything going and keeping us organized. It was a total staff effort to make this camp happen. I have nothing but praise and pats on the back for the kids and the staff.
“It’s been a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to getting started next week.”
The Bulldawgs begin practice for the 2018 season on Monday at 7 a.m.