Below is Episode 5 along with some upcoming key dates, links to previous episodes, and my voiceover recap of the day. You can find all Gonk Knocks coverage here.
Full Interviews from Episode:
Upcoming Key Dates for the Tomahawks Football Team
- Monday, 8/27 @ 4 p.m.: Varsity Football Preseason Practice #8
- Tuesday, 8/28 @ 3 p.m.: Varsity Football Preseason Practice #9
- Wednesday, 8/29 @ 7:20 a.m.: Players Return to School
- Friday, 8/31 @ 6 p.m.: Scrimmage #2 @Franklin High School vs. Franklin
- Friday, 9/7 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #1 at Home vs. Worcester North
Gonk Knocks: Training Camp with the Algonquin Tomahawks
- S1 E1 – Burn the Boats
- S1 E2 – Raising the Bar
- S1 E3 – Coach’s Update #1 (After Day 4)
- S1 E4 _ Step it Up
- S1 E5 _ The Real Deal
More Gonk Knocks coming soon!
Today was the Real Deal as for this practice on August 23rd, the team put on full pads for the first time. The players participated in their first full contact drills. Over the next two days, practice will be like a “dress rehearsal” for their first scrimmage on Saturday, August 25th in Clinton.
Maintaining health is still a top priority and full contact makes it more challenging.
Coaches had players in some head to head match-ups that was as physical as real game action.
Like the last several practices, the team broke into defensive positional groups for drills in each of the first two full pad practices. The defensive lineman and linebackers worked on blocking, faced off in head-to-head physical match-ups, and simulated blitzing. They did this by attaching a football to a hockey stick and pretending it was the quarterback. One of the coaches would move the hockey stick and the players would chase it.
The defensive backs practiced man coverage and tackling. In their first day in full pads, the defensive backs flourished, especially captain Sam Crain, and junior Will Ji. With a new defensive scheme this year, can some of the early success with the CBs be related to DB Coach Tyrone Notice’s unique drills?
The defense overall was strong on both Thursday and Friday. DE and senior captain Chris Santana was one player who shined on defense.
Chris Santana and the other three captains are embracing their roles as leaders on the team and it shows. Another emerging leader on the team is junior and starting center Ryan Carmody. His energy remains high and he continues to help and encourage his teammates. He even taught another center on the team how to improve their snap.
On the field, RB Thiago Filadelfo had an amazing day Friday. Thiago, a Junior, is really fast and his running style complements the rest of talented running back unit. At the start of the day Thiago had a very physical matchup against Sophomore Pedro Ribeiro. Thiago had a lot of great running plays throughout the day. But Thiago wasn’t the only running back with a strong day.
There are several running backs fighting for playing time on Friday nights, and the entire Algonquin RB corps shined throughout the day Friday.
While the running backs dominated in 11 on 11, the wide receivers went into some positional drills.
The competition with tight ends Derek Blanchard and Chris Pacios and is heating up and it shows as both have worked hard and are improving every day. I captured some really good TE action, first with Derek at TE and then with Chris at TE.
The first two days in pads was a success for the team and it was great to see some very competitive 11 on 11 drills as they prepared for their scrimmage on Saturday. The coach opted not to hold the conditioning test in either of the first two full pad practices, but the team did some extra conditioning. On Friday, they alternated between push-ups and running.
Check out my interviews from throughout practice the last two days. I interviewed Head Coach Taylor Allen, defensive backs coach Tyrone Notice, senior captain and WR/DB Sam Crain, senior captain and DE Chris Santana, senior WR/DB Logan Picard, Junior G John Fontecchio, and Sophomore LB/FB Rio Ferguson. (Interviews are in the 2nd video).
The team takes on the Clinton Gaels and Bartlett Indians in their scrimmage at Clinton High School tomorrow, August 25. Stay tuned for the next episode of Gonk Knocks where I report on the scimmage.