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Rye Practice View

Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2008 by Devaney Lohud/Blog

What says state football champion more than pajama pants?

That’s what 4-5 of the Garnets wore today over their pads, flannel pajama pants that looks as comfortable as they did out of place. Most players this time of year wear sweats over their pads to keep warm. And seriously, what’s warmer than flannel pajamas? It’s genius.

Why question the Garnets, anyway? This is annually the most mature and focused team, and this team is no different. In fact, I think this group may take that to another level. It amazed me how often players would stop and ask questions about a play or figure out why they made a mistake. At most practices I see, a kid that screws up typically puts his head down and quietly gets screamed at.

This group might even been changing coach Dino Garr. In years past, I could walk into practice with my hair on fire and Garr wouldn’t notice. He’d been too focused on every intricate detail of practice. Once practice starts, he gets sort of a tunnel vision. Today, though, we spent a few minutes talking during practice, about Highland, Pleasantville, moving up to Class A and last night’s unbelievable ending to the 49ers-Cardinals game (by the way, clock management is the most underrated skill a coach can attain). Garr has confidence in this team, perhaps more than any of the previous five sectional champs.

At one point during a defensive session, Garr said there was only 5 minutes left in practice and immediately 4-5 reserves substituted themselves onto the field. Garr didn’t even have to open his mouth.

“You see that,” he said. “That’s just the way this team is.”

I make jokes all the time about the amount of time Rye practices, which is far less than New Rochelle or most other sectional champs. But Rye is so efficient at this point, that practices can almost run themselves.

Highland could be in over its head this weekend. As I’ve said all year, this Rye team has a chance to be special. My reasons for saying that grow every day.

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