It's two-a-day time for the Wildcats

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Pre-practice talk Chuck Nickle Photography Coach David Large talks to the team during the first practice of two-a-days on Monday. The Wildcat football players are practicing from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to noon.

With the MSHSAA-mandated dead week behind them, the Cassville Wildcats returned to the practice field this week to continue preparations for the fast-approaching season. Head Coach David Large and his players have a lot of questions to answer and decisions to make before they host Mountain Grove in the Aug. 26 season opener.

"We have a lot of question marks," said Large. "We had one of our best weeks ever up at William Jewell, but we still need practice time to answer some questions. The players have worked hard this summer and have done a great job of preparing for the upcoming season. Now we have to make sure that we as coaches are putting them in the best place to help our team be successful."

Cassville sent 72 players to the William Jewell camp this year.

Defensive drills Chuck Nickle Photography Coach Robbie Artherton works with defensive linemen on several drills during the first day of two-a-days on Monday morning.

Large dismissed the preseason Big 8 coaches poll, which overwhelmingly projected the Wildcats to take the conference this year.

"Preseason polls are good for the fans but that is about it," he said. "Everyone knows we graduated a lot of starters, so I would say the other coaches are recognizing us more for the program that we have established more than anything."

After graduating so many starters from last year, Large is very open minded when it comes to positioning his players.

Ready for some football Chuck Nickle Photography Wildcat football players practice on the line under the guidance of Coach Jay Rogers, who is not pictured.

"We hope our special teams will be a strength," said Large. "We return an All-Conference kicker and punter, and honestly their backups could be very good as well. We have some good skill players but will need to be deeper on the offensive and defensive lines.

"I would say there is a good chance that Ricky Nichols will be our quarterback and Trey Rose will be our strong safety. Outside of that, nothing is set."

In response to "What's the most encouraging thing to report?," Large answered, "Kelly Wade only has a few more weeks left until he can don the #1 Wildcat jersey and start dancing on the sidelines again."

This week, the Wildcat football team is participating in two-a-days with practice sessions from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 to noon each day.

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