Monday was back to business for McAlester football.
The Buffaloes were scheduled to hold their first practice and the first day of spring football on Monday as they try to put a 3-7 record from last season behind them. Head coach James Singleton is entering his fourth year as head coach of the Buffs and said that the offseason was challenging, but in a good way.
"We changed some things up that we haven't done traditionally in the past," Singleton said. "We incorporated more competition concepts. We had a competition day on Wednesdays where we would do towel wrestling, we would do relay races, we did just various different competition drills to get guys to compete."
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association allows 10 days of spring football, including six padded days and four non-padded days. Singleton said the team will stretch those 10 days out over an 18-day period by watching film and doing some lifting in between a padded day and non-padded day. He said the first day on Monday was a non-contact day that focused on learning and fundamentals of the game.
May 31 will be the last day of the spring season for McAlester and will include the team’s spring game. The gates at Hook Eales Stadium will open at 5 p.m. with $5 burger meals available. Kicking off the festivities will be the youth punt, pass and kick competition. Students from pre-K through sixth grade are eligible to take part.
Next up is an all new 7-on-7 alumni flag football game. Singleton said on Friday that he had not heard from anybody from this past season on the game, but said he was in contact with recent alumni Mike Mike Redway, Sean Bryant and Brayden Klusak about the event. He said the idea is to make the game a fun experience.
The black and gold game will follow the flag football game. Singleton said the coaching staff won't be split up, and that the offensive coaches will coach both offenses, while the defensive coaches will coach both defenses.
"You can practice and you can practice and practice, but it's a whole different deal when there's people in the stands and the lights are on and there's a buzz," he said. "We want to see, as a culmination of spring ball and our team camp, how our kids respond under the lights."