Birds are singing, pollen is falling and bees are buzzing — not just honey bees like the one that got me on Thursday — Yellow Jackets — in cleats and jerseys and they were swarming the Union County football field on Friday, hungry for victims. While the first day of spring practice took place earlier in the week, Friday was the first day of contact, the day when players pad up and things become a little more physical.
Coach Steve Taneyhill was in his element.
You could feel the electricity in the air. It was palpable and it was contagious. Admittedly, it was also difficult for me to believe that this was the same team I’d watched shy away from tackles last year. These boys WANTED to HIT.
During board drills I watched players go head to head with intensity. As soon as two guys jumped off, two more were ready to go, hitting, yelling, sweating, jumping around and even talking some trash. This team seems fired up and excited about playing the game of football. The coaches seem excited about coaching football. This is what Taneyhill brings to the table…Excitement.
“Today is a new day. I don’t want to talk about what happened last year or five years ago because we can’t do anything about it,” Taneyhill said before spring practice began. “I want to talk about what we’re going to do and WE ARE GOING TO BE EXCITED to put on that Yellow Jackets jersey. We’re going to play with pride and it’s going to be fun. Winning is what’s fun. If the kids don’t want to do that then they don’t need to be out here.”
On Friday, it appeared that the new head football coach had a team full of athletes who were excited — excited to put on pads and issue a little contact and excited to prepare for the upcoming season with a coach who is nothing if not excited about football.