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Longview Lobos get back on the field

By Hayden Henry
Aug. 11, 2013 at 10 p.m.


August 30 is fast approaching.

In just over two weeks, the Lobos will be wheels up to Allen, squaring off against Coppell in the highly-touted, season-opening Tom Landry Classic in a venue set for the occasion – the $59.6 million Eagle Stadium.

August 30 is fast approaching.

In just over two weeks, the Lobos will be wheels up to Allen, squaring off against Coppell in the highly-touted, season-opening Tom Landry Classic in a venue set for the occasion – the $59.6 million Eagle Stadium.

The journey to Allen – which got a kick-start in spring drills – continues today as the Lobos report for fall practice at 4:30 p.m. and hit the field at 5:30.

It'll be back to the basics for Longview today, leading up to the first practice in full pads on Friday.

"It's going to be teaching the first four days and doing that on the move," Longview head coach John King said. "We're going back to the basics, step one, day one of spring and we're going to try to progress faster than in the spring and I think that will happen. We want to get our base established – here's what we're going to do, how we're going to do it, here's the changes to the scheme on both sides of the ball and we're going to progress from there.

"When the pads come on Friday, it's going to be time to get it."

King said it's been a pretty good summer for the Lobos with steady participation in the strength and conditioning program and another successful 7-on-7 stint. For the second-straight summer, the Lobos qualified for the state tournament, giving King and his staff the opportunity to reaffirm key positions as well as open some new options.

"That (7-on-7) helped us a ton," he said. "We saw some kids that really impressed us and gave us some possibilities to be moved around to different positions. We saw some kids improve at their current positions too so the whole thing was good for us.

"We've had a pretty good summer."

A true test of how the summer went will come on Tuesday.

"They're ready to start practice and they look good," King said. "We'll see how good on Tuesday afternoon during our conditioning test."

While there is much to work on in the coming weeks, King will look to a hefty senior class to pave the way. Longview will start fall drills with over 30 seniors on the roster – including Dorian Leonard and Zaycoven Henderson, who are committed to Texas and TCU, respectively.

"That senior leadership is going to be a big key for us this season," King said. "We've got some very important players in the right positions that are seniors, some are high-profile players and some are key role players.

"Their leadership on and off the field and being able to stay free of injuries, egos and eligibility issues are going to be key. If all those things compile, I think we'll have a pretty special year."

As far as expectations for 2013, it's par for the course for Longview.

"Expectations are always going to be high around here," King said. "We expect to win, the kids expect to win and Lobo nation expects to win.

"That's a good problem to have."

Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h

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