|08/08/18 - |
The Ada Cougars held their first practice of the fall Monday night at Norris Field, signifying the official beginning of their 2018 football season.
Ada head coach Chris Berus said his staff and players couldn’t be more thrilled to get started.
“We’re excited about the fall season and fall camp, which comes at the end of what could be deemed a long summer. We had 30 workouts through the course of the summer,” he said.
“These guys are ready to start playing some football. They love to train. They love to get bigger, faster and stronger, but the purpose of all that investment is to go play the game of football,” Berus continued. “We’re excited about the beginning. We have a lot of work to do to get prepared for Week 1 opponent Ardmore on Aug. 31.”
Berus added three new members to his coaching staff. Tyler Dorton took over as offensive coordinator last spring, and two new faces began mid-summer — longtime Coalgate High School assistant Country Beard will coach the offensive line and Jim Dickey, a 40-year coaching veteran who recently retired from Texas, will coach linebackers.
Another old new face, Kolby Howry, will move from coaching the Ada freshman team and join the high school staff as a receivers coach.
“We have a phenomenal staff put together for the fall,” Berus said.
Practices will continue from 6-9 p.m. tonight, Wednesday and Thursday at East Central before the Cougars put on the pads for the first time Friday for a practice schedule running from 1-4 p.m. back at Norris Field.
Berus said workouts at Norris Field will be beneficial since Ada won’t play on a grass field at all in 2018.
“(ECU head coach Al Johnson) has been able to coordinate with me to use those facilities this week,” Berus said. “That’s not to say we won’t use our own facilities for practice because when school kicks off, everybody gets to that normal practice time. But to have use of Norris Field for fall camp is going to be a huge bonus for us in our preparation.”
Friday night, the Ada Cougar Quarterback Club is sponsoring a benefit dinner that will include both a live and a silent auction.
The guest speaker for that event will be former University of Oklahoma running back Joe Washington, who played professionally for the San Diego Chargers, the Baltimore Colts, the Washington Redskins and the Atlanta Falcons.
Cougar parents and fans will get the chance to take photos with the Cougars from 9-11 a.m. Saturday. The annual Cougar Preview scrimmage will follow Saturday night at Koi Ishto Stadium at ECU.
Seventh-graders will take the field at 5 p.m., eighth grade at 5:45 p.m. and ninth grade at 6:30 p.m. The band, Couganns and cheerleaders will perform at 7:15 p.m., with the high school portion of the scrimmage to kick off at 7:45 p.m. That special night will also include food and fireworks.
On Monday, Aug. 13, the Cougars will work out from 1-6 p.m. at the Ada High School practice field. School begins Aug. 14.
Ada will travel to Midwest City for a scrimmage with Carl Albert and Deer Creek Thursday, Aug. 16. The ninth-grade squad will scrimmage at 5 p.m., with the high school to follow at 6 p.m.
The Cougars will have one final scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 23, at East Central University against Piedmont and Millwood. Freshmen will start things off at 6 p.m., with the high school taking the field at 7 p.m.
Berus said the team is coming off a productive set of summer workouts.
“We had a lot of kids gone at different times this summer, whether it be for basketball or baseball and vacations. But that’s a positive thing. We want our kids to have summers,” he said. “But while our kids were here, they worked extremely hard. Attitudes were extremely good. It’s been a very positive summer and now that fall is here, we’re going to see how much of that is going to apply what to what we have going on now.”
The latest Ada Cougar football roster lists 74 players, up from the 69 they opened 2017 fall workouts with.
“That could always fluctuate a little bit one way or the other,” he said. “We’ve had close to 80 in our midst at some point in time from spring ball until now.”