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Breakfast with the Bearcats: Orange/Black Spring Game will kick off at 7:20 a.m. Friday to conclude May practices

After 16 practices in the month of May which was preceded by four months of strength and conditioning work, the Aledo Bearcats will wrap up spring football with the annual Orange/Black Spring Game.

Kickoff is at 7:20 a.m. Friday at Bearcat Stadium.

The spring game will run similar to a regular game with a game clock and with most of the coaches on the sidelines. While the scrimmage downs will mirror an actual game, kickoffs and punts will be modified. It will also be one of the few times during the year the No. 1 offense will face the No. 1 defense.

“It will be a best on best game, with the first-team defense and second-team offense being one team and the first-string offense and second-team defense the other. It will be 1s on 1s and 2s on 2s,” Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said. “We will do a variation of the kicking game. We will start the game with a kickoff and our coverage team will run down the field, but the return man will not return the ball. Same on punts – we will punt the ball and field the punt but we won’t tackle the return man.

“We will also do extra points and field goals, and on field goals we may let every placekicker attempt a kick. We don’t want to get anybody hurt – we want to get out of there injury free. Having said that, we do want to be physical (during scrimmage downs) as we can be, but we want to get out of spring injury free.”

The spring game is also important to the coaches as they get to see live and on video – the latter the most important element – how the players perform under game-simulated conditions.

“We film every practice so we consider every day as a big day, and it is the process that will determine a starter and our depth chart,” Wood said. “We say ‘the eye in the sky don’t lie’ meaning the video tells the truth. To say the spring game will make or break a kid, well, it won’t, but it is part of the process.”

Wood explained that spring football does not set the starting lineup or the depth chart – those will all be solidified after the scrimmage in August against Byron Nelson (at Bearcat Stadium, date, time TBD) – but it does gauge the progress of each player.

“We have spots open at receiver, and with one starter returning in Money Parks – and the fact that we run four-receiver sets – we need five, six guys to fill the receiver positions,” Wood said. “We have had some guys who have looked good at receiver this spring.

“On the other side of the ball, on defense we are going to roll in defensive tackles. There have been heated battles on the defensive line as well. We are looking for cornerbacks, we have a battle at strong safety right now, so there are a lot of spots still up for grabs.”

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