SMITHVILLE — With less than a week of being in “full pads,” Gonzales head football coach Mike Waldie and the rest of the Apaches had their first taste of facing off against a live opponent last Thursday against the Smithville Tigers. With a new coaching staff and new schemes, the Apaches struggled early in the controlled scrimmage portion of the day, but turned it around during the live quarter.
“I’m really proud of them,” Waldie said of his team. “Everyone’s got to remember, this is our sixth day in true pads getting ready for a scrimmage with all new coaching staff, all new lingo. I thought everybody battled well today, we started off very slow, I think we were hesitant, our brains went to mush. I think once we calmed down we saw that we can be a pretty good football team down the road. We got a long way to go, lot of mistakes today but that’s a talented team we just played, a team that’s got a coaching staff that’s been here for awhile that knows what they’re doing O and D and we’re six days into this and at times we handled them, so that’s the positive side of it.”
The Apaches are expected to be a fast-paced offense, finding ways to catch defenders off guard. The team was able to do just that during the live quarter, scoring twice in the 12-minute period.
“‘D Ram’ [Dillen Ramos] was electric, gave us a chance to kick off the series there,” Waldie said. “Heath [Henke] did a good job with the tempo at the quarterback position, made a couple of really good throws. The whole line just getting lined up and knowing what they’re supposed to do. I don’t know how much they did right, but they went fast today and they got a body on a body and with our offense we can win with that. So those are three things that jumped out to me.”
Defensively, the Apaches wreaked havoc at the line of scrimmage, coming away with multiple sacks during the live quarter. Waldie gave props to defensive ends Diego Diaz de Leon and Lion Williamson.
Special teams was even a highlight, with the Apaches making both extra points and punting the ball well, including a 70-yard boom.
“We got some weapons at kickers, no doubt,” Waldie added. “That’s a great point that people overlook. We got some talent there, so that’s exciting.”
The Apaches have their final scrimmage Thursday, Aug. 22, against Hays Johnson, with varsity scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Next week they have their season opener against Navarro on Friday, Aug. 30.
Photos by José Torres/Gonzales Inquirer
The Gonzales Apaches braved the heat last Thursday morning as they took on the Smithville Tigers in their first live scrimmage of the football season.