School almost back as summer drills roll to end

By Donna Lampkin Stephens

After five days of non-contact drills and a weekend team retreat, Central Arkansas Christian’s football Mustangs were ready to put on the pads this week.

Work in full pads started Monday. School starts on Mustang Mountain today (Wednesday.)

"Now that we’ve got everything installed, we’ll start doing some things that are a little more competitive," coach Tommy Shoemaker, starting his seventh season at the helm of the CAC program, said Sunday night. "We’ll split them up and start doing some inside drills, some 7-on-7."

Other items on the week’s agenda included a miniature scrimmage Tuesday and a game-day replication Friday.

"We’ll practice our game-day routine and go through the whole thing just like we’re playing a game," Shoemaker said of his plans for Friday. "We’ll go out and warm up, run through some stuff, come in like it’s halftime, the whole nine yards."

Otherwise, he said, coaches would be refining the depth chart to see where the 42 Mustangs who reported for fall drills fit best.

"After this week, they’ll have an idea of where they’ll go as far as the scrimmage, and after that we’ll set things," Shoemaker said.

He said he was pleased with the first week of practice as the Mustangs hit the field starting in the early morning.

"We had not done that since I’ve been here, but it went really well," he said. "We didn’t have any down days. Of course, it’s cooler at that time of the day, but I thought our energy was good and they paid attention very well. We put everything in. A lot of it is stuff they already know that we’re just trying to reinforce."

Following Friday’s morning workout, the Mustangs headed to Camp Tahkodah in Floral for their team retreat, as they’ve done for several years, dating to the Tim Perry era.

"It’s always a good time to get away from football a little bit and recharge your batteries before we start back in full pads," Shoemaker said. "Usually we take the seniors up the first night and let them get up there by themselves. We do different things with different groups, but the main thing is to get up there and have some free time. Usually on Saturday night we do some sort of commitment ceremony or the seniors talk about the season, depending on what that group wants to do."

Fourteen seniors will lead the Mustangs this fall.