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Sports

Football season starts with character building

SPRINGVILLE—The Springville-Griffith football program concluded its week-long minicamp Aug. 2 that has varsity head coach Rob Valenti feeling upbeat about his team this season.

“It was exciting. The kids responded very well to the expectations and the things we laid out for them to do for the course of the week,” Valenti said. “We got a lot done in terms of offense and defense and skill development and scheme installation.

“The highlight of minicamp was seeing the progression of the installation,” the coach continued. “Both older and younger kids started to put together the proverbial pieces of the puzzle.”

While most of the camp revolved around drills, Valenti ended each day with a team unity activity designed to build traits beyond skill like trust and communication.

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On the final day, Valenti had his players involved with an egg toss followed by egg roulette. The latter activity had players, along with Valenti, attempting to crack an egg across their foreheads with only a select few of the eggs hard-boiled. While most ended with egg on their face – including the coach – the activity brought about the biggest smiles of the day.

Entering the second season of his second term as head coach, Valenti thought this year’s group impressed him more than last year’s group.

“This group was really excited and probably had a better conception of expectations than last year’s group,” he said.

The official season will start Sunday, Aug. 12 with a 6:30 p.m. parents meeting in the library. Players will check-in and go through a strength assessment test with the entire gathering lasting between two and three hours.

To help keep football topical during the summer months, Valenti initiated a battalion challenge where players were divided into groups. Each individual had opportunities to score points through a series of activities that extended into community service. Valenti said the emphasis of the program was merit and having players experience the sense of earning.

Privileges go to the top point-getters that range from jersey number selection and beyond with Sean Barry taking the overall title.

Aside from the teaching aspect of the game, Valenti also identified a number of team goals that begin with the classroom and keeping the team as a scholar team. Second on the coach’s list was a character development program and self-identifying details from within it.

The goals on the field dealt with improved math. Two seasons ago, Springville averaged about 36 points-per-game and fell to about 16 last season. Valenti wants the offensive production to improve.

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Defensively, the coach would like to improve upon surrendering the big play that more often than not put the team behind the eight ball last year.

Finally, Valenti wants to see improvement in the turnover ratio, after the team was minus-28 last season.

Those changes in addition to building some team momentum has the coach optimistic about the team’s first game Aug. 31 at Maple Grove and the upcoming season.

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