MIAMI — First-year head coach Andrew Rice liked what he saw during the first practice of 2017 for his Miami Wardogs.
“The excitement and energy level, what we call is how we operate, all that was there,” Rice said of the Wardogs’ workout Monday morning at Red Robertson Field. They got in conditioning from 11:30 p.m. Sunday until 12:03 a.m. Monday.
Oklahoma High School football teams could begin serious workouts after 12:01 a.m. Monday.
They continued until about 12:30 a.m. then had another practice Monday at 6 p.m.
“There is a difference in playing confident and then fearful of making mistakes and a lot of kids were playing fearful of making mistakes and not playing confident,” said Rice, who previously had been offensive coordinator at Bartlesville. “That’s something we’ve got to fix, especially with the young quarterback (Jay Porter). He went out and really tried, I think too hard.
“He is capable. He won the job all summer. He went out there and felt he had to do something special. He will get it squared away.”
Porter is the heir apparent at quarterback, succeeding four-year starter Kameron Jinks.
“We determined two weeks ago as a staff Jay is going to be the starter for now,” Rice said. “Just because you win a position means you keep it, so right now, Jay is going to go forward as the starter.
“We wanted to get that over before fall camp. We didn’t want either one of them looking over their shoulders. The other thing is we think Gavin (Payton) can help us at receiver quite a bit. When it’s all said and one, he’s going to be pretty special at that spot I think.”
Payton will get in some snaps at quarterback. Rice said.
Receiver Seth Swingle drew praise from Rice.
“We joke around that he doesn’t run real fast; he’s not overly tall or big — all he does is run great routes and catch the ball,” Rice said. “That’s exactly what we need.”
The Wardogs will practice from 6 to 8 p.m. at Red Robertson Field through Friday, July 11, and Monday, Aug. 14, then move to the high school for workouts on Tuesday, Aug. 15, and Wednesday, Aug. 16, also from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Dogs revert to their regular afternoon practice schedule with the first day of classes on Thursday, Aug. 17.
Their two scrimmages will be Friday, Aug. 18, at Locust Grove and Friday, Aug. 25, at Stilwell.
The season opener is Sept. 1 at Hilldale.
That means there are 17 practices and the two scrimmages before the opener.
“We don’t have to go out and beat Hilldale tomorrow. We just have get better,” Rice said.
This week’s practice schedule for other schools in the area include:
Afton — Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.; Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m.
Bluejacket — Tuesday through Friday, 7 p.m.
Commerce — Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Fairland — Tuesday, 8 a.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m.; Friday, 2:30 p.m.
Quapaw — Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Thursday, 8 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m.
Welch — Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.
Wyandotte — Tuesday through Friday, 3:15 p.m.