Forward, that’s the direction that Longview head coach John King said his football team has moved heading into game week.
An ugly ending to the preseason with a brawl that scrapped what he called the most important part of the evening is in the past.
“The thing about the ending to the scrimmage is that it cost us two live quarters of action and work that we needed for our young football team, for our inexperienced football team,” King said. “That’s probably the most frustrating thing about it because we needed that.”
Discipline started Thursday night and ended Friday morning, King said, and the team has regrouped and moved past the incident. The only football on Friday included helmets, shoulder pads and sleds.
“What took place afterwards was what I felt like was most fitting for the situation,” he said. “I told the kids what I expected when they showed up Friday about what was in store for our actions.
“I thought the kids responded in the right way which was encouraging to see. The leaders stepped to the forefront. We had a good discussion about how it’s going to be and brought to light some things that they needed to hear.”
A wake-up call, per say.
“I think for some, it definitely was,” King said. “From our discipline to reviewing film, a lot of guys were disappointed in their play and are ready to do something about it. A lot were disappointed in how it brought a dark cloud over our program because that’s not what we’re about.
“I’ve said it 100 times, one day doesn’t make or break you and that won’t define us. We’re moving forward. We didn’t show up ready to play, to get after it and we can’t have that. They all know that.”
King highlighted the play of both lines from the scrimmage, always an area of focus in the glorified practice.
“We were hit-and-miss but did a lot of good things at times on the offensive line,” he said. “It was a step here, a step there but I thought the pass protection was good against a a talented Texas High front. We were close to really creasing a few runs. The receivers caught the ball well and the quarterbacks threw it well at times.
“Defensively, thought the line played well. They’ve gotten better over the course of the past week. We rotated a bunch in there and saw some guys play their best football yet. The second and third levels were about what we expected with the experience that we have there. We’ve got to continue to find guys that are going to be the next guy to get in there.”
Friday was a new day and Monday will be as well as game week has arrived.
“When they walk through that door into the Lobo Den, they better walk in ready to work and work in the right way so we can improve this football team,” King said. “We’re heading in the right direction, we just need to speed up the process because we’ve got a tough non-district schedule and we’ve got to be ready to play.
“If they come in with the right attitude to work, leave their selfish behavior behind, show what they’re about, what we’re about then things are going to get taken care of and that’s what we have to do.”
Longview kicks off the season against Temple at 8 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington as part of a doubleheader live on Fox Sports Southwest.