Beginning practice at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday helped the St. Charles Catholic Comets beat the heat somewhat, but that wasn’t really the reason the team was out on the practice field so early.
“The reason for it is we have faculty meetings today and it will extend until later this afternoon so we wanted to make sure the kids would practice and be involved and not get away from it too much,” St. Charles coach Frank Monica said.
Then came the critique.
“We’ve been a little bit sluggish, especially (Monday). It was the first day up ‘uppers,’ not in full pads, yet. I still expect them to practice a lot better than they are doing right now,” Monica said.
Teachers may be in faculty meetings but classes have yet to begin for students at St. Charles. The later start compared to other schools in the area, allowed the Comets to take part in their annual summer camp a week ago in Mississippi.
“It went well,” said Monica, now in his 50th year in coaching. “We had eight practices. You get a chance to be totally focused – no cellphones and no TV. They concentrate on one another. They get to know each other. They live with one another, they eat with one another. Their free time is all with one another. That’s big.
“It really did my heart a lot of good to see kids interact as young men with one another as friends and teammates instead of getting caught up on Twitter and the emails and stuff like that. We got total focus there and a lot of meeting time but now it’s time to start reacting. I’m disappointing we are not doing the little things right now.”
“Camp went good,” said senior defensive lineman Mason Narcisse. “It really got us (ready) to do our thing out there. We had two-a-days, so we had to be hydrated and stuff.
“We went out earlier than we do now. We started practice at 5:30. It helped me to get ready for now.”
“Now,” included an early-morning practice Tuesday and another slated for Wednesday.
“Waking up early is a tough task but when you put your mindset to something, you just have to go get it. It’s just a challenge to get up so early in the morning and going out and giving it your all our there but when you put your mindset to something, you can do it,” said Narcisse.
Narcisse said he arises at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for practice.
“I eat at little breakfast, drink a little water to get hydrated before I come out here,” Narcisse said.
The Comets will go from shells to full gear later in the week.
“Our tempo is not going to change because we try to work hard on keeping people off the ground. We don’t take them to the ground yet until we scrimmage and hit somebody live,” Monica explained.
The Comets will play at University High in Baton Rouge in a scrimmage slated for 5:30 p.m. August 22.
“This is what I call the ‘long week.’ It’s the only week, until hopefully, December, that you don’t have game,” said Monica.