After a bye week, they’re eager to get back on the field and back to business.
“I think the kids are excited,” Braucht said. “We definitely didn’t allow them to be dormant and bored. We worked last week on a lot of our fundamentals, on our keys and reads on both sides of the ball and to really make sure that, on special teams, we are fundamentally sound.”
Braucht said that the scout team is just as important as the starters as far as getting the team ready for action each Friday night. Each player is treated equally on and off the field.
In fact, when Braucht starts to talk about his key players, the list is quite long — 11 players on offense and another 11 on defense. Add in the special teams and the second string, and he could easily list the entire roster.
“None of our kids are any different from any other kid,” Braucht said. “It doesn’t matter if you are the first offensive lineman or the best running back. Everybody is the same. Our kids know that — whether they are good players or bad players, in the eyes of football or if their parents have a little bit of money or a lot of money. All of our kids know that they aren’t any better than anyone else.”
In fact, Braucht had a special message for his players during practice Wednesday.
“We call them ‘special teams’ for a reason,” Braucht said. “They save themselves for those one or two times they make a play. That takes a special player. That is part of the mindset that we are trying to create within our program that everyone is important to the team.”
Braucht said that has been the philosophy of the program since he was hired five years ago. He didn’t want the team to be all about the first class that would take the field. He wanted it to be about all the great players who have and will one day be Knights.
“We look at the big picture and see where we are at,” Braucht said. “We didn’t ever want it to be about one kid or group of kids.”
Braucht looks to the success that the River Ridge junior varsity and freshman teams have found this season, with the programs combining for more wins this year than any other.
So while the varsity team appears to have hit hard times, there’s hope in the future.
“Our program will get through the hard times and continue to be as good as we can make it,” Braucht said.
Looking toward Friday’s game against Cass, it’s easy to see a 2-5 team that is also winless in Region 7AAAA’s southern half. Braucht sees more and says his players will have a challenge in keeping up with the Colonels’ size and speed.
“They are big and fast, and they are well-coached,” he said. “They didn’t give up. They are going to do everything they have to to get at you.”