White Plains Tigers Start 2012 Gridiron Campaign

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It’s that time of year to put on your cleats and lace up your shoulder pads because the 2012 high school football season has officially begun. The White Plains Tigers, led by the stern veteran football coach Skip Stevens, held their first practice on Friday. This fall the Tigers will have a total of 44 players suiting up in the black and orange uniforms.

Junior Cameron Crabbe will be competing for the empty starting quarterback position left by the graduation of Jeff Avery. Photo by Billy Becerra.

Stevens’ team’s first practice session on the field last week was dedicated to cardio. One of the tough tasks for many past and present Tigers athletes is sprinting up the steep hills on the southwest side of the athletic fields . Running these hills will expose any athlete’s weakness or lack of cardio conditioning.

This kind of conditioning is nothing new to football players. Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Jerry Rice, who was one of the best-conditioned athletes in the history of the NFL, used to train by running up steep hills excessively.

As far as how his squad looked over the first two days of the 2012 season, Stevens knows there is always room for improvement in terms of  conditioning.

“I’m happy with the strength shape they’re in, but I’m not happy with some of the cardio shape,” said Stevens.

When asked if he would change the course of the team practices to include more running early in double-sessions, Stevens is keeping an open mind on things.

“Differently, I don’t know about extra,” said Stevens.  “Maybe doing a little extra agility stuff to get them going.”

Stevens had his teams participate in a plethora of drills over the first two days of double-sessions. The key for Stevens was to touch on every single area of the game right away.

As the season progresses and the coaches get a better feel for the talent of the team each session will become more detailed. One doesn’t throw the entire playbook on a football team the first few days of practice. Learning plays and implementing them is something that takes a little longer due to the complexity of football.

The Tigers have a lot of new faces on the varsity squad after graduating over 20 players in June. Their schedule for 2012 will test them right away opening up at Harrison followed by a home opener versus arch rival New Rochelle, who beat the Tigers in the first round of the Section 1 Class AA playoffs in 2011.

It will be exciting to see new names and faces on the field as the Tigers set out on another football season.


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