Arlington's football numbers increase again in spring, ready for Ballard scrimmage

ARLINGTON — As the end of the school year approaches and summer rolls in, football is still very much alive in Arlington.

In fact, it seems to be getting livelier every year under coach Greg Dailer, as roughly 60 players have come out to spring football practice, making Arlington's low turnout numbers a thing of the past.

"When I first got here, we only had 20 kids on varsity," said Dailer, who will enter his third year as head coach in the fall. "Everybody was playing both ways."

Spring ball is becoming so popular at Arlington that eighth graders have started coming to turnout, trying to get a head start learning Dailer's spread offensive system.

"It's good to see the younger kids get excited about being part of this program," Dailer said.

But many things are still a work in progress, as the Eagles' football program continues to work toward the 2010 season this summer, changes in the practice schedule highlight a new line of thought.

"Now that we've done this a couple years and we know what we're doing, the idea is not to wear kids out during the spring," said Arlington head football coach Greg Dailer.

With the thought of saving the kids for the fall in mind, the first measure the Eagles coaching staff changed was a no-hitting policy, and no pads.

"We thought we'll keep the kids away from injuries and saving them for the fall," he said. "And it gives them something to look forward to and stay hungry."

Instead, the coaches plan to do more cardio work and spend the bulk of the time installing the team's strategies, which Dailer thinks are more likely to carry over in the fall largely because the new practice schedule focuses on instillation up until the end of July.

At the end of the practice period, the Eagles will travel down to Ballard High School for a scrimmage with the Beavers July 27.

"We've scrimmaged with Ballard before and it's a good fit because they do a lot of things that teams up here do and we can see exactly where we are," Dailer said.

Moving the scrimmage back about a month from where it was in 2009 was a conscious effort by Dailer to keep football in the minds of his players throughout the summer.

"We just thought everything might transfer over better," he said. "We can have guys in pads up until July 31 and instead of having that break from live action be almost a month, we've knocked down to just two weeks. The guys will come in more prepared and ready to get the season started."

Fall football practice begins Aug. 18 state-wide.

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