McKenzie not looking ahead to Flomaton

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2005

You won't catch McKenzie coach David Kirkland looking ahead.

Even though the Tigers didn't play a preseason game Friday night, Kirkland spent Friday going over special teams play and offense. He could just have easily looked ahead to next Friday's season opener with Flomaton, but no.

"These past few weeks, we've worked on McKenzie," Kirkland said. "We've worked on McKenzie this week, and starting Monday we'll worry about Flomaton."

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In the meantime, Kirkland also has been playing part-time doctor. A virus spread among the players earlier this week, forcing some to see a doctor.

"I don't know if it was a virus or food poisoning," Kirkland said. "A few of my players like starting left guard Michael Rackard had to go home because he was so (ill)."

In fact all of the Tigers were in attendance of their annual preseason Tiger Night dinner Thursday except for back up center Travis Shipp, who also was ailing from the virus.

Kirkland wishes his team did have a preseason game on Friday because some have been practicing at half speed, he said.

"I think they are just tired of hitting each other, and they are ready to hit someone else in a different colored jersey," Kirkland said. "When the lights come one, they are going to fight."

In addition to practice on the field, Kirkland has been routinely been putting his team through a lot of film study.

He has each practice filmed and then brings the players in to review the film each day.

"We are still making mental errors, and when I tell them they sometimes don't

believe me," Kirkland said. "That why we have film study to show them the

mistakes they are making so that they don't make them again."

Heading into preparation for Flomaton, Kirkland said that he has found the right combination for his offensive line.

Callahan Bush will start at left tackle. Rackard, who is 6-foot-5, will take the left guard spot. Next to Rackard will be Tyler Bush, who is the lone returning starter on the offensive line. Mitch Bozeman will be at right guard, and Eric Jernigan will be at right tackle.