BY ED WRIGHT
Aug. 9, 2010, 11:15 p.m.
No matter what degree of conditioning was thrown at Plymouth's football team this past off-season, the Wildcats' response was consistent.
"They always wanted more," said Plymouth head coach Mike Sawchuk. "When it came to conditioning, they want more, they want more. We may not be the biggest team around, but we have kids that want to work. We only have a couple kids who you have to get on and say, 'Let's go, let's go.'"
Plymouth opened its 2010 pre-season practice schedule Monday with a pair of spirited workouts in unseasonably comfortable conditions.
The team will be led by a pair of Division 1-bound talents: linebacker/receiver Brennen Beyer, who has committed to the University of Michigan; and punter/place kicker Kyle Brindza, who is being pursued by a host of D1 schools.
While it's still early in the process, Sawchuk already sees some interesting position battles taking place.
"We have two really good quarterbacks in Vic Hicks and Shaun Austin," Sawchuk said. "Vic is going to be hard to beat out because he's such a solid run/throw threat, but Shaun is going to be a good one. He's more of a thrower than a runner, but he's very smart and can play."
The Wildcats' first-week regimen of two three-hour practices broken up by a 75-minute break has evolved over the years, Sawchuk said.
"We did something similar to this when I coached in Florida, but we've tweaked it a little bit," he said. "I have so many good coaches on my staff that I'm able to sit down with them and say, 'How do you want to do this?'
"We used to give the players a two-hour break in the middle, but they'd come back a little sluggish. Now, we get them in so they can eat after the first practice, do some chalk talk, then - boom! - we're back out on the field. This way, we're out of here by 3:30 every afternoon."
The Wildcats open Aug. 27 with a home game against PCEP rival Salem.
"Then we play Howell, which has a very good program," Sawchuk said. "Playing in the division was play in, our schedule is always going to be tough. There are no games you can point and say, 'That's a win.'"
The Wildcats' annual black-and-silver scrimmage is set for Saturday at noon at the PCEP varsity stadium. On Aug. 19, they'll travel to South Lyon for a four-way scrimmage.
Ed Wright can be reached at (734) 453-1980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A pair of Wildcat linemen give the blocking sled a workout. (Ed Wright photo)
work on staying low. (Ed Wright photo)
A punt returner gets corralled during Monday's season-opening practice. (Ed Wright photo)
A Wildcat hustles downfield during a non-contact scrimmage Monday afternoon. (Ed Wright photo)