George Ranch welcomes freshmen to preseason camp

George Ranch head coach Nick Cavallo oversees the first freshmen practice on Monday.

The UIL, for the second year in a row, has allowed freshmen on 5A and 6A teams to report to football camp ahead of the others players. And for some area teams, it is a big move.

Programs at George Ranch, Travis, Foster, Lamar Consolidated and Terry have held camp for their freshmen the last few days, and some are happy to get a week to get them acclimated to high school football, including some of the basics down, like getting a helmet adjusted and learning a proper stance.

“We had a great number of kids come out, about 45 or so,” Travis head coach Trey Sissom said. “A lot of kids have been here all summer for summer camp, so they’re rolling out to the field.

“It’s great for us because it allows our freshman coaches and varsity coaches to get their hands on them,” Sissom continued. “They’re getting twice the coaching that they would get (during the season), and I think it’s going to set us off for the season going ahead.”

Travis also had a bit of turnover in its coaching staff, so the first week also allows the new coaches to learn along with the freshmen.

At George Ranch, the coaches will coach the freshmen to play on both sides of the ball so that if any have to change positions later in the season, they can do that with a bit of ease.

“We would have the coaches coach both (freshman and varsity), so now we don’t have to go to the returners and back to the freshmen,” Longhorn head coach Nick Cavallo said. “We’re giving them our full attention and get them acclimated into high school and to the Longhorn way.”

Cavallo said that George Ranch will have around 85 to 95 freshman players, which is a big number, and the week can get those players more training that they need than a half-session with varsity and junior varsity players.

“We can take our time with them and get it exactly where we want it,” Cavallo said.

George Ranch will have its freshmen scrimmage each other on Friday, while Travis will just continue its freshman practice for the rest of the week and welcome veteran players on Monday.

“We take it for granted of getting kids lined up, putting on pads and everything,” Sissom said. “And we’re able to get them as much attention as we need to.”

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