Coyotes use open date to refocus

This week, the Uvalde Coyotes have an open date in their regular-season football scheduled.

They wound up their pre-district schedule last Friday night.

One week from tomorrow, the Coyotes will open District 29-5A play with a road game against the Southside Cardinals.

With no game to prepare for this week, Coach R.T. Gonzales Coyotes have focused on getting physically healthy and working on football fundamentals.

“The open date in our football schedule could not have come at a better time,” said Coach Gonzales. “We have a lot of kids who have been sidelined because of injuries and we have used this week to try to get as many of these guys as possible healthy again.

“We begin district play next week against Southside, but we have not worked this week on preparing for what Southside does,” said Gonzales. “This week has been a back-to-basics week for us. My coaching staff and I have been working with the players on fundamental football play and proper technique.

“The Coyotes have worked on blocking, catching the ball, running with the ball, running good pass routes, tackling, taking good pursuit angles, and on pass defense,” said Gonzales.

“We have made a lot of mistakes in our first five ball games this season and we know we have to play better fundamental football if we want to perform in our upcoming games,” said Gonzales. “Our goal is to make it to post-season play. But to be a post-season football playoff team, you have to practice like a playoff team.

“It all begins with the basics. You have to be able to block and to tackle,” said Gonzales. “We have stressed good blocking and tackling technique in practice this week.”

The Coyotes will enter district competition against Southside next week coming off of a 3-2 pre-district football performance, including a 34-20 loss to the Gonzales Apaches last Friday night.

Statistically, Gonzales finished with a slight edge over the Coyotes in first downs, 22-19, and in total offensive yards, 375-372.

The big difference was turnovers and penalties.

Uvalde lost control of the ball four times on pass interceptions, including the last play of the game.

Four times, the Coyotes lost the ball on downs.

One three of those possessions, a quarterback sack and a penalty bogged down the drive. On the other drive, a penalty cost the Coyotes field position.

“Our kids came away from the Gonzales game last Friday feeling like they could have and should have beaten the Apaches,” said Coach Gonzales. “We had a lot of physical and mental mistakes. Untimely penalties, turnovers, and lack of execution at times cost us.

“Against Gonzales, we had a of good opportunities. But like our play in some of our other pre-district football games, we made mistakes that hurt our overall performance,” said Gonzales.

“We know what we need to do to play better. The mistakes we have made in games are correctable. But there needs to be some sense of urgency now, because we will begin district play,” said Gonzales.


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