MIAMI — The Miami Wardogs are showing signs of progress during the first couple of days of spring football practice.

“It’s progressed pretty well,” said first-year head coach Zach Gardner, noting that around 45 players have been on hand.

The spring activities will wrap up Friday, May 25 with a two-quarter scrimmage at Red Robertson Field, which will pit the offense against the defense.

“As a whole, the kids are responding well,” Gardner said. “We keep throwing new things at them and they take it in stride and are responding well.”

Gardner hopes the team will establish physicality on both sides of the ball during the scrimmage.

‘We are not going to be so much finesse. We are going to be a physical team that plays better in our games and build from there,” Gardner said.

While they won only one game last season, Gardner felt the team’s younger players have made strides in the off-season.

It will be a busy summer for the Wardogs, who will participate in their Summer Pride program from June 4 to the last week of July, Monday through Thursday.

There will be a dead period the week of the Fourth of July.

On the field, they will participate in the NEO team camp June 7-8, a line camp at Pittsburg State University June 12 and a varsity passing league in Joplin on June 18 and 25 and July 9.

They also will compete in the Shootout of the South June 14-15 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“We will be plenty busy,” Gardner said.

After a break of about a month, its “get serious” time for the Dogs as preseason practice starts Monday, Aug. 6.

Miami hosts Locust Grove, Kellyville and Dewey in their lone scrimmage on Aug. 17.

The regular season kicks off a week later at Claremore Sequoyah.

The new-look Wardog coaching staff includes Jo Bryson, Matt LeFay, Pete Overman, Rick Simpson, Choo Thomas, Adam Teal and the newest addition, Brad Homer.