By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

LRS football season begins with Ritzville Jamboree


Last updated 8/28/2019 at 9:22pm

Journal photo by Brandon Cline

Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos football assistant coaches Jason Hilzer (left), Zachary Swanger (center) and Mike Lynch (right) watches over cone drills during the beginning of practice on Aug. 26. The season kicks off tomorrow, Aug. 30, with the Ritzville Jamboree.

Practice is underway for the Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos football team, as the beginning of the season is just days away as they prepare to host the annual Ritzville Jamboree.

For LRS football head coach Greg Whitmore, the opening weeks of practice is all about making sure his team is well-conditioned for the long season ahead.

"We're not in very good shape, we've got to really work on getting in shape," Whitmore told The Journal. "That's always kind of a struggle early in the season ... we're doing quite a bit of conditioning."

The team practiced in pads for the first time last Saturday, but the coaching staff is keeping the hitting pretty light, with more focus being put on making sure the technique is being executed correctly.

"We're not doing too much [hitting], even on the first day of pads we don't," said Whitmore. "It's a lot of technique. Even when we get into the heart of our season we don't do a lot of hitting anymore. It's just not like the old days ... everything is under control, so it's good."

In all, about 29 players turned out this season, which is about where Whitmore thought the number would be. Twelve of those players participated in summer PTA Performance workouts held at the school, and Whitmore expects the workouts to pay-off for those who participated.

Whitmore concedes that his team isn't going to be the biggest or most physically imposing in the league, but said the offensive and defensive lines will be the most experienced position group for the Broncos this season.

At the quarterback position, junior Drew Kelly will be succeeding his older brother Bryce-who graduated in June-as the offense's field general. He'll get his first snaps against opposing teams at this weekend's jamboree, which begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.

"Drew's the guy that's got the most experience, so he's kind of our go-to quarterback," said Whitmore. The Broncos will have options at the position, though. Senior Austin Thompson could take snaps in the Wildcat formation, and several underclassmen will also be taking reps in practice.

Following the WIAA's rules regarding jamborees, each participating team will receive 20 offensive and 20 defensive snaps. Each team will play two sessions of offense and two sessions of defense. Participating teams other than the Broncos include: Davenport, Northwest Christian, Colfax, Medical Lake and Dayton-Waitsburg.

Following Friday's jamboree, the Broncos' first four games of the season will be non-league affairs. LRS will travel to Davenport to take on the Gorillas in the first game of the season on Sept. 6. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Journal will have a season preview of the football team, as well as the volleyball and cross country teams, in the 2019 Fall Sports Preview that will be published on Sept. 12.


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