Rebels take ‘special’ care in first day of fall camp

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Sports Editor

The Riverside Rebels arrived to the school for their first day of fall camp Monday. And even though Rebels Coach Tim Taffi is taking over this season for longtime Coach Mickey Roussel, who stepped down after last season, Taffi says that not much has changed with the Rebels routine.

That is, except for one thing.

“We’re going out there three times a day,” Taffi says. “Last year, we stepped up to two practices a day, something we’d talked about for years.

“With camp, it’s football from the time the sun comes up until it goes down.”

That third practice, Taffi says, is one devoted to special teams, which he believes will pay off in a big way once the season begins.

“Really, what it means is that we’re able to take our time and explain to the guys exactly what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” Taffi says. “We’re getting more individual and group work in to really break it down for them.”

Full practice with pads cannot begin until Aug. 11 as per the LHSAA. That said, this first week of camp is especially important to Riverside as it adjusts to its new coach – and its new Wing-T offense.

It’s too early to tell, Taffi says, how far the team has come offensively since the beginning of summer. He does expect to see a great deal of improvement before the team’s jamboree clash with St. Charles later this month.

“We didn’t scratch the surface offensively in the spring,” he says. “We have a long way to go. Right now, we’ve just got to work on rehashing the things we’ve worked on, as well as adding a few wrinkles here and there.”

In a little over two weeks, the Rebels will see exactly how far they will have come as Riverside will host defending Class 1A champion South Plaquemines for a scrimmage on Aug. 21.

But until then, Taffi will continue to do as he did with his assistants on Monday – pay attention to detail as they work to see their team improve.

“We’re working on execution, teaching them how things are supposed to be done,” he said. “The proper way to pull, to down block, to receive the handoff.”