Springfield, FL---Our ongoing, month-long series of visits to area high school football practice fields taking us Tuesday to Springfield and to
one of the area team's under the guidance of a new head coach, the Rutherford Rams.
Rob Armstrong stepping in after Alvin Dempsey was let go just before spring practice.
Armstrong, a veteran coach within the region, coming on in the middle of spring ball, so he had a lot to do in a compressed time frame.
So far he feels pretty good about the transition as he works with around 30 players on the varsity level.
"We've gotten to a point where we know everybody's name." coach Armstrong told me Tuesday morning. "We showed up in the middle of spring ball, came out here the first day, met the kids on Friday, started practice on Monday. So didn't have time to learn any part of the system or to learn how to practice so we kind of took the last two weeks of spring to do that. And this summer, we have really spent more time this summer scheme-wise than we ever have in a summer because we felt like we were so far behind."
And again the numbers for a 5-A program aren't great, 30 players means a lot of kids will have to play on both sides of the ball. And depth may be an issue. Armstrong acknowledges all that, but adds he's happy with the commitment with the kids on board.
"I think we had 22 kids that made all the workouts this summer. And that's a pretty good number. That's a good group to build on, to build a foundation. They're showing up, they're working. The thing that they've gotta do is, you know, we've got to find something else to mess up on. Let's not keep making the same mistake every day. If we did this wrong yesterday, let's fix it. And let's mess up on something else today."
The Rams will start with a preseason game against Florida High on the 22nd, then open for real at Niceville on the 29th.