PHS football practices open with 30 Huskies

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
PHS football practices open with 30 Huskies

For many of the Pawhuska High School football players in attendance, Monday’s first official practice of the 2015 season was the latest chapter of a continuing story they started in May.

Under new Huskies’ head coach Joe Sindelar, there was impressive participation in a “Summer Pride” conditioning program conducted at PHS’s new workout facility located southeast of the stadium.

“I couldn’t help but get excited when I’d see so many kids coming out every morning and working so hard,” Sindelar said following one of last week’s evening conditioning sessions.

Coaches had used social media and other methods to get word out to the players about the early workouts, which were held each weekday evening between July 27 and last Friday..

On Monday, around 30 Huskie grid prospects were put through a rapid regimen of passing and catching drills during a nearly two-hour opening workout at the practice field on McKenzie Street.

Earlier, Sindelar had said he wasn’t sure what the turnout would be for the initial practice.

“We might have 20 or there could be 50,” Sindelar had said last week. “There are some new guys that have talked about coming — but nothing is certain until they show up.”

Following the first official practice, Sindelar encouraged the players to help get others to come out — including a few key returnees who were absent.

“There are some guys not here that should be here — you know who they are,” the head coach said. “You need to try to talk to them and let them know we need them out here.”

Sindelar said the new play system being installed for the Huskies is actually a combination of several different systems. He said it requires an understanding of certain basic concepts.

“Once they get familiar with those basic concepts, I think they will like it and have fun with it,” said Sindelar. “But first, we’ve got to get everyone on board and up to speed before they get too far behind.”

Although the new system appears to be passing-oriented, the coach said he usually tries for about a 50-50 mix of passes and runs.”

Sindelar returns to the sideline for the first time since 2011 — when he led the Woodland to the second of two straight state championship game appearances. (The Cougars won the 2010 Class A title.) He also won three state championships (from 1993-2003) as head coach of the Morrison Wildcats.

PHS will continue its daily workout at 6 p.m. Oklahoma prep teams will be allowed to begin practicing in pads on Friday.

“That will be good, because there’s only so much we can work on until then,” Sindelar said of the padless practices. “By Thursday, these guys will be getting bored.”

Classes start in Pawhuska on Thursday, Aug. 20. The first football scrimmage will be Friday, Aug. 21, at Ormand Beach Stadium with the Cleveland Tigers. Another scrimmage (a three-teamer that will include Pawnee) is to be held Thursday, Aug. 27, at Tonkawa.

The Huskies’ 2015 regular season opens Friday, September 4, when the Verdigris Cardinals fly in to “the Beach.” PHS goes to Dewey for its second game.