Attendance at preseason football practices has continued to be up and down for the Berryville Bobcats, but coach Doug Shott says it’s all part of the process.
"We don't have a program yet, we are building one," Shott said. "When we have a program, the kids won't want to miss. If we ever get to the point where kids don't want to miss, then we have a program."
Shott said he is pleased with the effort he has seen from the players who have been showing up.
"The kids' attitude is good and the effort is good," Shott said. "We aren't as good as I would like us to be in some areas, but we are coming along pretty good in other areas."
Two weeks into preseason camp, Shott said he is beginning to see some leaders emerge.
"Our senior lineman, Austin Woods, he has been here and gotten after it every day," Shott said. "Devon Smith has been here every day and gotten after it."
Through two weeks of practice, Shott is impressed by how well the players have caught on to what the coaches have been teaching them.
"In the past, they may not have known these schemes," Shott said. "We are using several on defense and several on offense. That's going away from what they have done in the past. The biggest improvement is the kids picking up on what we are telling them to do."
Shott said there are many things that the team must continue to work on as well, though.
"We have got to continue to work on our blocking and tackling," Shott said. "That always seems to be a big thing here. It's something we must get better at."
Because of teacher in-service, the junior high and high school teams have been practicing together this week. Shott said this has been going well and that he has seen many improvements from the junior high team since fall practice began.
"They didn't have the luxury of going through spring like we did in senior high," Shott said. “(Junior high coach Joey Curtis) has always felt like they have been behind and the truth is, they have been behind. I think the last two days though, there have been marked improvement."
Next Friday's Purple and Gold game starts at 7 p.m. On Friday, Sept. 1, Berryville travels to Decatur. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.