If he said it once, he said it 1,000 times. There is one thing that Perryville football coach Brent Roth has stressed during the team’s two-week camp: play to the whistle.
He has a story to back up his new motto for the team.
“About two years ago we were playing Ste. Genevieve and they jumped offside and the referees didn’t call it,” Roth said. “We snapped the ball and everyone stopped and Ste. Genevieve blocked the punt and ran it in for a touchdown. We were anticipating the flag and what was going to happen, instead of playing football. That’s the kind of things that can lose you a game if you aren’t careful.”
If Roth has anything to say about it, that won’t be the case in his first season at the helm.
“I want us to play until someone tells us to stop,” Roth said. “There were times this week where I didn’t even blow the whistle. I wanted to see if we could make a tackle or how the guys would react. For us we are full go right now.”
Perryville has worked on individual skills when it comes to the blocking schemes and getting the players’ steps down and where they are supposed to go. However, Tuesday was a different story
The team went full offense and defense for one segment of practice, not only to test the new mantra on his players, but because he feels like they are ahead of the game in some respects.
“I’ve been really happy with where we are as a team,” Roth said. “That’s saying something with the new offense and defense we are trying to put into place right now. I feel like we are ahead of the game because I feel like the whole playbook is in. There are some things that we may add or tweak as we go, but for the most part our major concepts are there.”
Roth has implemented some new formations and different things over the summer, and for the most part he feels that it’s simpler to understand, which has helped the players learn it much quicker.
“There isn’t as much complexity,” Roth said. “I really didn’t plan on having everything in right now, but the kids are learning it so fast that it’s like let’s move onto the next thing. Before we knew it, the whole playbook was in. I felt like there was some plays that we were holding back in years past when it came to plays, but not this year.”
Perryville has competed in several camps over the course of the summer, including a 7-on-7 camp at Sikeston in late June. In that specific camp, three players saw time at quarterback and multiple players saw time at the different skill positions.
Not much has changed from that as the calendar nears August.
While all the plays may be in, who the players are that will be performing those plays and where, is still in the air.
“There is nothing set in stone, all the positions are open right now,” Boss said. “The guys are starting to figure out who is who and where they might be playing in game one. However in my book all the spots are still up for grabs.”
Some of that may be nailed down by the first day of practice on August 9.
“We’ve been doing a lot of things leading up to that day, which has turned into just another day for us. That should only help us at the jamboree.”
The jamboree will be on August 20 at Jefferson R-7 High School at 6 p.m.