DALLAS -- Attitudes about football in Dallas are changing.
With more than 50 players participating in a three-practices-a-day, three-day mini-camp last week, that's good news for the Dallas High football team and its new coach.
"I'm really excited -- this is a totally new atmosphere in general in Dallas," senior tight end Jon Richey said Friday, taking a short breather from an offensive drill. "If you look at other sports -- state champions in wrestling and dance - that's really exciting.
"And with a new coach, and what we're doing right now, it seems like we can be really successful."
What the Dragons are doing is implanting first-year head coach Tracy Jackson's Wing-T offense -- and for three days, Jackson brought in some very talented reinforcements to teach his system.
Those included Bruce Cobleigh, a renowned former Georgia high school football coach who travels the country to teach his "Hybrid Wing-T" offense, and Cumberland (Tenn.) University head football coach Dewayne Alexander.
"What Bruce does is what we want to do here," Jackson, who spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Woodburn, said of Cobleigh & Co. "They came here to help us get our scheme installed. They know it best and they do this all over the nation, so that's really what this (camp) is about. We want to get this thing in and get really good at it."
So far, the transition has gone very, very well, according to Jackson and his players.
Photo by Pete Strong
Dallas High’s Tim Smothers carries the ball during an offensive drill Friday at a mini-camp at Dallas. More than 50 players participated in the three-day event.
"I think it's great," senior lineman Jacob Rorem said.
"We're getting off to a new start, new ideas."
The Dragons went 2-7 overall, 1-6 in the Mid-Willamette Conference in 2011.
"Now we're starting to pick up the new ideas and starting to go with the flow," Rorem added. "With the new coaches and their plan for our season, it's going to be sweet."
Jackson has named his sons, 25-year-old Adam, a former strong safety at Western Oregon University, and 27-year-old Matt, a current quarterback for a professional team in Serbia, his top assistants.
With Jackson calling the plays, Adam will coach running backs and serve as the defensive coordinator and Matt, who is set to return to the U.S. this week, will work with quarterbacks and defensive backs.
Tracy Jackson said so far, everything is looking positive for the Dragons.
"They've been awesome, and honestly, right now is a time where you've got some really good kids who are really hungry to do well and are coachable, they're responsive -- everybody's been a blast," he said.
"It's because they want to do well so badly and they hustle. Guys are stepping up and we don't do everything perfectly yet, but we will, because they'll work at it until they do."
Rorem said he's already noticed the change among his teammates.
"Oh yeah, a lot of people are stepping up," he said. "A lot of people who were, before, kind of hesitant to do that are stepping up and want to be first -- they're all ready to go now. They fight for the positions already, they're ready to go, and it's only July.
Jackson will hold a football camp for grades 5-8 Aug. 6-10 and official high school practices are set to start Aug. 20.