You can call it the Ram Routine.
“We try to make it as routine as possible,” Brandon Walters said as his Rams took part in football practice on the first day of school Wednesday. “It helps not starting your first day (of practice) on the first day of school. We are practicing already so they know the expectations. This is just another day for us.
“For us, the biggest thing is they have to wear a shirt and tie the first day of school. That’s one thing we ask of them. We treat the first day of school like game day so we come in in game-day attire. We didn’t get to pretty today but I did ask they were a tie.”
The Rams have been practicing seen Monday after taking a week off following summer camp work.
“I’ve been doing this a little while so I know the kids you are dealing with and their ups and downs and how hard you can push them and when you need to back off a little bit,” the West St. John coach said. “We go really hard in (summer) camp and gave them a week off to get their legs under them and take care of their personal needs in preparation for school and stuff like that do we can hit the ground running so when school starts I don’t have to worry about, “I need to go get these uniform pants’ and stuff like that.
“We are one of those teams that need to work year-round, so to speak with conditioning and things like that that we ask our kids to do. Because we have kids that go both ways, we don’t take a lot of time off.”
With Week 1 of the regular season slated for September 6 and falling generally a week later than usual, the Rams have been practicing all week as if mostly in offseason mode. Teams can put on shells for the first time starting next Monday and full pads three days later.
“We see it the same. We prepare the same. Once we get back and we feel school is in, those kids turn the switch on,” said Walters.
There is one different starting this week for the Rams that differs from the offseason workout schedule.
“We don’t take any more Fridays off,” Walters said. “That would be the thing they have to adjust to. Generally, we go Monday through Thursday during the offseason. That will be the toughest thing to adjust to is the Friday practice and get the mindset for playing and taking their weekly test on Fridays.
“Our practices are pretty much the same. We don’t bang a lot with each other as far as contact. We are teaching and working on our things from (the neck) up. We put on our pads to get acclimated to the heat and stuff like that.”
The first time the Rams will take on an opponent comes on August 22 when West St. John plays its traditional fall scrimmage against Lutcher.
“It goes back long before me,” said Walters. “I’m just the guy driving the bus now.”
As usual, the Rams expect a quality effort from Lutcher.
“It’s a really good experience. They test us. They push us. That scrimmage with Lutcher and West St. John is like a real game, we just have more whistles (stoppages of play),” Walters said.