In preparation for the beginning of fall camp this week, the Daleville Warhawks football team traveled to Ozark to compete in a three-way organized team activity (OTA) to close out summer workouts.
Daleville competed alongside Dale County foe Carroll Eagles and Class 1A’s preseason No. 1-ranked Brantley Bulldogs in the OTA. The three teams competed in 7-on-7 competition, one-on-one drills and full team competition throughout the day.
“The OTA last week was great,” Daleville coach Will Garner said. “That was another really good day that we needed against some really good competition.
“Brantley is the No. 1 team in 1A in the preseason and Carroll will be a playoff contending team in 5A and we were able to hang in there and had some success against both of them. Our guys are starting to learn that when they believe in themselves, we can compete with teams like that. It was really good to see that our guys didn’t back down from good competition.”
All summer long Garner has preached to his team about working to get better each week and he said that he has seen that progress.
“We have gotten better every single week and that’s going to continue to happen with as young of a football team as we are,” Garner said. “The only way we get better is by reps. We’ve gotten more and more live reps and more and more of the younger guys have gotten a little more comfortable and the guys have just continued to get better as a result.
“A lot of that is because of the work ethic we have. Our guys are starting to figure out that if you put in the time and put in the work then good things can happen.”
During the OTA, putting in the effort led to some big plays including interceptions off tipped or dropped balls against both Brantley and Carroll.
“When effort is high on the field sometimes the ball bounces your way and finds you and that is what our guys are starting to learn,” Garner emphasized. “When you put in that effort and work in then the good stuff is going to start to happen.”
As fall camp began this week, Garner said that the emphasis will be on two of the basics of football: blocking and tackling.
“The two main things we have to work on – and that is for everybody – is you have to be able to block and you have to be able to tackle,” Garner said. “If we can block up front and tackle on the back end on defense we’re going to be okay. If we can’t do those things then we’re going to struggle.
“Those are the main emphasis going into fall camp. Knowing how to block and who to block and being able to tackle in the open field are going to be big things for us.”