Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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March 25, 2013

Jacksonville High’s Taber to spend spring finding out who can play on Friday night

JACKSONVILLE — For most people spring means getting outside, possibly even planting a garden, or even taking a Spring Break vacation.

But for Jacksonville High School head football coach Chris Taber spring is the time to separate the men from the boys, sift out the chaff to get to the wheat and to start finding the answers to a slew of questions regarding the 2013 Jacksonville Fight'n Indian football team.

Taber and his staff of assistant coaches are doing this by putting the young men who will comprise the freshman, junior varsity and varsity units through a two-phase process that began on Monday with the return of the Indian Builder program, which runs through March 29.

In about a month Jacksonville will begin spring football practice for the first time since 2004.

Spring workouts will conclude with a Blue/Gold inter squad scrimmage at 6:30 p.m. May 24 at Tomato Bowl.

So, if everything goes well, after the scrimmage is over, Taber and company should have many of their personnel decisions solidified.

Back to the Indian Maker now.

“It's a glorified boot camp that has been done here in the past and the goal is to build mental and physical toughness,” Taber said.

Athletes are sent through a serious of stations that, simply stated, focus on weight training, agility and quickness, cardio-oriented activities and drills that promote working together as a single body, as a team.

“The whole point of this is to get the kids to a point of total fatigue,” Taber explained. “And then when they reach that point figure out a way to push a little bit harder and to get through it.”

There are also elements of Indian Maker that closely mirror a key portion of the game of football.

“We teach them how to memorize the different drills and the the plays and their assignments, which is the same thing that we ask them to do at football practice and in the games,” Taber said.

Jacksonville was not able to implement the program last spring due to the somewhat late hiring of Taber.

But this year is a different story, one that should trigger a more favorable outcome this fall for Tribe football.

“We're doing something no one else is doing,” Taber said. “We feel that we are getting their minds right as we prepare to move into spring football real soon.”

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