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Allen tries to change the culture at K-M football
Kent Meridian coach Brett Allen says that he's working on setting up a strong foundation for his players, so that they'll be ready for the Royals first game next Friday.
The team is coming together quicker than Allen first thought since practiced opened Aug. 21. He and his coaches expect to be able to field players that can move the ball around quickly and effectively to allow the team more flexibility in play styles. He plans to put those skills to use in his team's spread offense.
"When people see a spread-type offense, they immediately think 'oh they're gonna throw the ball all over the field,'" Allen said. "The spread offense was created to run the ball."
The Royals, 4-4 in the South Puget Sound Leauge North 4A a season ago, open the season at Tahoma on Sept. 6.
Allen is banking on his players athleticism to give them the offensive edge needed to run a shotgun-spread offense. "We've always known these young guys have had talent," Allen said, adding the key will be coordinating and focusing that talent.
While he's confident in his offense's abilities, Allen has to acknowledge his fledgeling defense. With none of his original defensive starters returning this year, he has only a handful of field-experienced players returning. Those returning are second or third stringers. To this end, Allen has focused his practices on placing defensive players in situations where they'll develop an aggressive instinct on the field. By repeatedly practicing tackle drills and in game scenarios, he hopes to have his defense ready to go for the opening game.
Conditioning is another key component of Allen's practices.
"We try to work in everything we do in practice to keep the kids moving at all times to maintain conditioning," he said.
In addition to the standard movement and play drills, he's incorporated "Two Minutes of Terror" into the practices, where athletes stay moving for two minutes straight.
The largest improvements Allen feels he needs to make this year, and has made over prior years, are keeping the players engaged in the game. He'll keep improving his defense's "football i.q." and putting the final nail into what he calls a culture of defeatism that has grown over the years at Kent Meridian.