Every week throughout the season, Denison Football Coach Cody White will share his thoughts and observations on his team, taking you inside the curtain with a breakdown of the previous game, the positives that stood out, the areas of improvement, the upcoming game on the schedule and more! It's all brought to you by the all-new North Texas Tennis Academy
This week, Coach White has a full "preview" blog, getting you ready for the Battle of the Axe game Friday vs. Sherman.
* We had a good off week and we worked on a lot of things, but we obviously won’t know how much the bye week helped us until Friday. What we worked on, first of all, was getting some kids healed up. We were pretty beat up. We were trying to figure out how to get some guys back into the fold to start this coming week. We did a lot of competitive stuff. I didn’t feel like we competed exceptionally well against Royse City, which is the first time I’ve said that about this group. We kind of went back to the basics. We spent more individual time during practice. We didn’t focus on Sherman. It was more of ourselves.
* Sherman is up next, obviously, and the kids always enjoy playing Sherman. It’s a big game and it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of excitement in town. Both towns get excited about it. It’s a neat deal for the kids to have a chance to be a part of. It’s that way every year. Obviously, for the last two years, it’s been for the district championship. That’s added a little more luster to it. This year, it looks like they’re probably in the running to win the thing, and we’re not. It’s just an opportunity for us to play a good football team at home and hopefully show that we’ve got some character and some pride about us. I think our kids will do that.
* Let’s talk about the Bearcats. They’re playing exceptionally well. They’ve got great skill kids. I think, offensively, they’ve got four or five weapons that are as good as we’ve seen all year. They’re exceptionally good. Their quarterback does a good job of operating the offense. They’ve got three or four kids who’ve got a chance to take it to the house every time they touch it. From that perspective, they’re frightening. They’re good in the return phases of their kicking game. They’re running the ball well. They take some chances, but they get away with it because they’re athletic enough. They’re a good pressure defense. They can cause you problems. You’ve just got to make sure you do a good job of identifying what they’re doing and trying to fit up on things correctly. If you do, you have a chance to move the ball offensively and make some big plays on them because of the approach they take to playing defense.
* Here are the keys for us on Friday: The bottom line is that we need to make them drive the long field and not give up big plays. We have to win in the kicking game. Hopefully, we can get a turnover or two. Offensively, we have to possess the ball and keep our defense off the field. It’s no different than any other week. We don’t have to be superman or anything. We just need to play what we’re capable of and play well. If that’s the case, I think we can be in the football game at the end.
* There’s nothing not to love about Denison vs. Sherman and no reason to not enjoy it. It’s fun. It’s like I told the kids, they’re fortunate to be in a place where there is something special like this. I was at some other schools, Highland Park was an example of one, where we didn’t really have a rivalry. It’s a neat deal to have one, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of a game like this one.
* Obviously, for us, it would be a huge bonus to what has been a struggle this season, if we could find a way to get a win over the Bearcats. That part of it would be really neat. It would make it that our seniors would have been in school for four years and had the axe for four years. That would be a big deal. The bottom line is that it’s a football game. It’s a rivalry game and it’s something that lasts for the whole year until next year. It leaves a good taste in your mouth, to be able to be successful in this game. We hope to play exceptionally well and get the job done at home on Friday night.