WATERLOO — No news is actually good news for the Waterloo Columbus football team.
No distractions. No major injuries. No major personnel concerns.
As the countdown begins toward Friday’s season-opener against Iowa Falls-Alden at T.J. McLaughlin Field, the Sailors are in a good place.
“We’ve just got to shore up some things on special teams and make sure we’re repping that,” said head coach Brad Schmit, whose team went 7-2 a year ago and narrowly missed the Class 2A playoffs.
“We’ll just focus in on the fundamental stuff. We’ve worked on stuff all throughout fall camp, and all summer, and we want to see that translate to the field. It’s a lot of little things.
“You watch film and maybe see some guys kind of revert back to some bad habits, so we’ve just got to keep focusing on the fundamentals and get brilliant at the basics.
“That’s kind of across the board with us. It’s nothing in particular, but just try to focus on those little things and make sure we’re doing those little things correctly over and over. That’s how you get good at it.”
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With 11 seniors and returning starters Ben Sinnott, Cannon Butler, Kobe Nobis, Ray Seidel, Aidan Schmitz, Caleb Vesely, Mitchell Carpenter, Joe Dunlay and Dallas Westhoff leading the way, the Sailors know what needs to be done.
“Our 11 seniors, they’re football guys,” said Schmit. “They put the work in. They’ve bought in. They take care of business during the week. I keep hammering that November to August thing, but this group bought into that.”
Schmit and his staff got some valuable evaluation film Friday night when Columbus scrimmaged Jesup. One of the positions they’ll break down extensively is quarterback where sophomore Carter Gallagher has taken over.
“I’ve known Carter for a long time, since he was a little kid,” said Schmit. “I’ve always known he was a kid who’s got that buzzword ‘moxie’ for a quarterback. He’s a vocal kid for a sophomore, and I think his time playing varsity baseball where he played with these guys and they’ve seen him deliver, it’s not like ‘What’s this sophomore doing telling me what to do?’ They respond to him.
“He has the ability to throw some good balls, and he has the ability to run it as well, which we haven’t really had the last couple of years. No moment is too big for him, and he knows what he’s got around him.”
Gallagher has made steady progress throughout camp.
“We’re not asking him to do a ton of stuff,” noted Schmit. “We want to progress him along slowly, but surely, and not throw too much at him. He’s going to continue to grow and we’re going to continue to coach him up.