As any coach will say, teams learn the most between Weeks 1 and 2.
“I know we’re better than that, and we didn’t show that, and that’s disappointing,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said of last week’s 28-0 loss at the Wolverine Den. “I think that’s the idea of maybe getting a game in ahead of time. Not only does it give you a week of work — it gives you two weeks (of rest later). The kids got to see themselves live and on film. Our coaches looked at the mistakes, and we can start working this week to correct those.”
It is in that vein that the Wolverines (0-1) hope they will perform better Friday when they return to their home field to face Harrison.
On defense, Woodstock is looking to improve its tackling. The Wolverines were put into several 1-on-1 situations last week due to Johns Creek’s offense and blocking schemes.
“They eliminate all defenders to make one guy make the tackle, and, if he doesn’t, then it goes for a big play,” Budde said. “That’s one of those things where, hopefully, as the weeks go on, you get better at tackling. Being a week shorter in practices, we had even less time to practice tackling. Our kids know how to tackle, and they work on it every day. They just have to work on their techniques every day that they are taught.”
While Woodstock couldn’t put up any points against Johns Creek, it did have opportunities — albeit unsuccessful — in Gladiator territory. On top of making improvements to finish off drives, Budde said there was one key adjustment needed to his team’s option-based attack.
“We misread some of the option plays that should have quarterback keeps to get the ball on the outside,” Budde said. “For the most part, the offensive line blocked really well. They were just really sound in what they did. We got yards here and there, but couldn’t out the drives. We would get inside the 20 a couple of times, and we came away, obviously, with no points. We have to finish those drives off and keep the defense a little bit more balanced.”
On top of making adjustments to the option, the quarterback position will continue to be a competition.
Budde said that last week’s starter, Justin Agner, played well, but he made a few misreads. Team captain Alex Motsinger missed the practices before Woodstock’s opening game due to a concussion he sustained in a scrimmage with River Ridge, but he saw time off the bench in the second half of the Johns Creek game.
Budde said Motsinger has been cleared to play at full speed, but the coach gave no clues on who would start Friday.
In the backfield, senior linebacker Trey Alexander started the game running the football, but the coaching staff found what appears to be a more likely starting running back this week in Jean Boureau.
“(Boureau) runs the ball extremely hard, and he’s quick,” Budde said. “That was a real bright spot for us in the game that we took away. With him stepping and running the ball hard, it means we don’t have to use Trey Alexander on both sides.
“I definitely think it’s hard (to play both offense and defense). I know Trey could handle it, as we gave him spells throughout the game. Nick Cable came in and played at times. But you’re hitting at linebacker, and getting hit at fullback, and it’s a long year. We’re excited about the opportunity of Jean Boureau stepping in there and giving us a speedy, slasher back that he is. If we need, then we can always come in with Trey. But we need Trey to focus in on defense a lot more.”