Coming into his second year as the head football coach and athletic director at Brazos High School, Ryan Roecker said being able to work with the athletes over a full offseason will serve as a springboard to success in the 2020 season.
“This offseason, we did a bunch of good stuff,” Roecker said Monday evening at the Cougars’ first practice of the year. “We did classroom day with character development and a lot of different team-building things and then the other four days we were outside working so I think we definitely can rely back to that.”
Roecker and the Brazos coaching staff also were able to rely on the familiarity with the mask and distancing guidelines that have already been in place from the University Interscholastic League to keep things running smoothly upon the athletes’ arrival for the first day of real practice.
“The great thing about it was we've been working since June 8, so our kids haven't missed a beat with the whole procedure as far as questions and temperature checks and wearing a mask,” said Roecker. “We've been trucking four days a week with 70, 80 kids, so the majority of them already knew what to do and what to expect.”
Another expectation the Cougars came into this year knowing is the team unity and the bond Roecker is striving to create with this year’s acronymic motto of family.
“Our mantra this year is F.A.M.I.L.Y.: Forget About Me, I Love You,” Roecker explained, referencing the shirt he was wearing. “The way we started off in the weight room was just introducing our mantra and talking about it, ‘I wear this (gaiter) not for Coach Roecker, I wear this for you. I wear this for Jared Demny or Lance Garbs or Bryan Maldonado.’”
All in all, Roecker agreed everyone involved was glad to be on the field again, saying “I think they're just excited to be back, we've worked hard and prayed even harder for this day.”