McKinney High head football coach Jeff Smith once said that, ‘spring football is all about progression’. From the first day of practice all the way through Thursday’s spring football game, the McKinney Lions have undoubtedly progressed as a football team.
“Every week we try to add new things to our scheme and sharpen up so we’re game ready,” he said.
The Lions won’t play an official game until August but when it came down to the annual intersquad spring game, MHS looked like a game-ready football program on offense, defense, and special teams.
“We feel like we can go play a game right now,” Smith said.
Week one of spring training is typically a week where players get re-adjusted to the speed of the game while trying to apply the techniques they’ve been taught in the offseason. After that point, Smith said the Lions began to tighten up their technique and preparations.
“We prepare like we would in the fall so they understand what the expectation is about and it becomes a habit.”
As you’ll see in the video below, a number of JV players took advantage of the opportunity to perform for the community and made big plays in an effort to get bumped up from a white helmet to the coveted varsity gold. For young freshmen and sophomore players, the speed of the game is drastically different when it comes to playing alongside varsity talent, but Smith was pleased with the way his underclassmen have adjusted to spring football.
“They’ve done a really good job,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of kids with potential so we’re pushing them and trying to make them better.”
Soon to be junior, Robert Somborn, will likely return to his role at starting quarterback this fall and if any one player has bought into Smith’s ‘spring football is all about progression’ philosophy its Somborn.
“He’s really progressed nicely,” Smith said.
Somborn started 8-of-10 games last fall and threw for 1,372 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 53 percent of his passes. He also rushed for five touchdowns and was the team’s third leading scorer behind running back Travis Tarver and kicker Michael Gonsalves.
“He had to heal up from some injuries his offseason but now he’s throwing the ball extremely well,” Smith said. “He’s gained maturity with his pocket presence, leadership, and how he studies the game.”
“He’s taken really good steps to take our football team to the next level.”
After the spring game, the Lions gathered together on the field and raised their helmets one final time before breaking the huddle. One year ago, Smith barely knew all of the names of the players he was coaching but that’s all changed, as the Lions football program, from players to coaches, seems to be growing more and more comfortable.
“The kids have really embraced me and the new coaches,” Smith said. “They gave great effort if we were winning or losing last fall. That’s very exciting that our kids gave that kind of effort because you can’t coach effort.”
“It’s going to be pretty fun this fall.”
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com