Washington holds first practice

Published 6:44 pm Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lined up in the shotgun with two receivers to the left of him and two to the right, Washington quarterback Jimmy Williams took the snap, put the ball in the belly of running back Keane Grahme and pulled it back for an 8-yard run.
It’s a play like that, that has Washington head coach Sport Sawyer excited about this upcoming season as the Pam Pack held its first official practice on Saturday.
Last season, Sawyer scrapped the spread offense in favor of an I-formation attack, but this year the play of Williams, a dual-threat quarterback, has Washington’s eighth-year coach feeling positive about the 2011 season.
“Last year at this time we weren’t sure who our quarterback was going to be, we were kind of inexperienced at that position,” Sawyer said. “But Jimmy Williams has really worked hard in the offseason … We’re going to the spread because Jimmy can run and he can throw and I think we have some running backs that can run the ball out of the spread. We also have some receivers who can catch, a good offensive line and a lot coaches that are ready to jump in and get to work.”
Sawyer said that this year’s spread will vary from the version he has run in the past.
“This is going to be different, we are going to be running a little bit more,” Sawyer said. “We’ve had some good quarterbacks in the past but Jimmy is a threat every time he touches the ball. We’re looking at more of a running spread with passing, instead of passing with run.”
On defense, Sawyer said he is fielding more of an experienced group this year.
“Defensively, we have a lot of people in place where last year we really weren’t sure,” Sawyer said. “It’s very exciting.”
The Pam Pack hit the practice field at 8 a.m. on Saturday looking to not only get a head start on the season, but the sun as well.
“It’s extremely hot, but the guys are really excited and ready for football,” said Sawyer, who had 78 kids show up for practice and expects about 15-20 more in the next week. “The first couple of days are just like the summer (workouts) pretty much, we go out in helmets with no body contact.”
Sawyer said the first day of practice was all about the basics.
“Today we just worked on the fundamentals and some team stuff together on offense and defense,” Sawyer said.
The Pam Pack will don pads by next Friday and that night the school will hold a Midnight Football Madness event that features a Blue and White scrimmage. Admission for the event is a package of bottled water or Gatorade, which the team will use for the upcoming season.