An Update From Head Coach Tom Gilmore
We have been very busy over the past month as we continue our preparations for the 2017 season. Spring practice was very productive for us and the thing that really stood out was the excitement and energy level of the team. Some of our new assistant coaches have really helped in that dynamic by bringing new viewpoints and concepts to the table, while helping to improve our intensity and toughness.
Improvements in Schemes & Techniques
We made a good deal of progress throughout the spring, particularly with respect to the run game. Our rushing offense took some major steps forward, especially from a technical standpoint. We also made significant improvements in our run defense, although it is bittersweet when you are going offense vs. defense in scrimmage sessions. We are also starting to show more maturity as our upperclassmen are growing in their positions, learning our schemes and techniques better and gaining confidence. We have a number of good leaders, who are mentoring the younger guys to make sure they are prepared to play key roles in our success.
Spring Game Successes
We wrapped up practice with our spring game on April 8 and it was a positive day for the program where we saw both sides of the ball step up in different situations. The offense had some good success, particularly in the middle of the game, with a number of explosive plays including seven passes over 15 yards and four rushes that went for 10 yards or more. The defense started the day strong and then finished up strong, causing three turnovers and recording five tackles for loss. Both sides of the ball showed glimpses of what they are capable of doing this season and we look forward to building upon everything that was achieved this spring.
Serve Our Great Community
This is also one of our busiest times of year when it comes to community service. At the spring game, we had a group from the Brockton Boys & Girls Club with us as part of their “Next Level Football” program. With the help of Holy Cross graduates Laurence Naughton ‘93 and Craig Cerretani ‘79, they were able to tour campus, spend time with the players and see what life is like for collegiate student-athletes. It is important for us to stay in touch with the local community and the team was enthusiastic to assist their program. Last Thursday we held our annual Marrow Registration Drive, which has seen us rank among the top schools in the nation in terms of the percentage of our student body we register each year. Thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases depend on the registry for matches and we are proud to once again be a part of this program. We also took part in Holy Cross Cares Day last weekend and are set for Working for Worcester this Saturday, where we clean up, fix and build things in the community. These projects play a huge role in the future of the city by mobilizing college students to improve recreation infrastructure, community spaces and schools.
Building Strength & Conditioning
Heading into the summer, we are shifting our focus back to strength and conditioning in order to get bigger, stronger and faster. Our summer training is very comprehensive in nature. After focusing on gaining size and strength in the winter, we add significantly to the physical conditioning necessary to play the game of football in the summer. Our players will run every day, sometimes focusing on straight ahead speed and other times on lateral speed and agility. We will continue to work on our core strength and stability progressions as well as our joint mobility and flexibility. The players will also hold their own “captain's practices,” where they will work on positional skills and run some seven-on-seven drills. We will look to make some positive gains over the coming months, while making sure that we come back healthy to start the preseason.