The dreaded dead week ended back on July 8 for high school sports, as teams were able to resume practices. That included the Tullahoma High School football team, as they returned to the field.
The Wildcats are coming off one of their most historic seasons in school history, finishing the year with a 10-2 record, making it to the quarterfinals of the TSSAA Playoffs. During the first half of the summer, Tullahoma Head Coach John Olive had liked what he had seen from his team.
Now two weeks after the dead period ended, Olive still feels the same way about his team. Before heading into the two-week break at the end of June, the Wildcats’ head coach challenged his team to not let up and keep finding ways to practice hard. Those players have responded and Olive said he has liked the effort his team has given him, on and off the field.
“In the weight room, we challenged the players to give us a better effort in the weight room,” Olive said. “They have responded and done that well. We are happy. We think that we’ve taken a step forward since coming out of the dead period ... I think the other day, Tuesday, we had 26 personal records in the weight room, on the power clean. That was coming off of a day where we had a long day the day beforehand. It was good.”
During the early part of the preseason, Tullahoma was trying to find players at key positions, including a backup quarterback after Kyler Parker transferred to Moore County. Ben Fulton will once again be the Wildcats’ starter behind center, and Olive confirmed that Ryan Scott has solidified his spot as the second-string quarterback.
The key positions that Olive said that he’s looking to fill now are offensive and defensive linemen. Looking around at the rest of the roster, he has his starters down, but is looking for depth at every position.
For the remainder of the summer, Tullahoma is going to stay busy. On Tuesday, they are slated to host a 7-on-7 and big man competition against Huntland.
Once the calendar turns to August, the Wildcats will open the scrimmage portion of their schedule, first traveling to the University of the South to take on Chattanooga Central on Aug. 2. Tullahoma will then head to Warren County on Aug. 9.
Tullahoma will then wrap up its scrimmages with its annual Fan Feast at home against Columbia Central.
The Wildcats’ freshman team will also have tests during the preseason, heading to Fayetteville for Jamboree on Aug. 3.
As the regular season gets set to get underway, Olive said he just wants to see his team keep progressing and keep fighting during practices.
“We need to be a physical football team. We aren’t going to be a super fast football team, so we are hoping that we can show some physicalness as well. That’s what we are hoping to see before we start putting the pads on.”