Article by Tom Green
Yesterday was a landmark in the Highland Academy Community League. It was the first time the HACL teams and the Black Isle Stags development team trained together in a full contact training session. The turn out for the event was high with just under 50 players turning up to practice.
Each player went through a series of limited contact drills which helped develop tackling techniques under the supervision of the coaching team. The group then split into groups to learn skills specific to their positional needs. The day then ended with team situations.
A lot of players stood up to the plate and have a lot to be proud about. One of them was Black Isle Stags player Kyle Holleyoake who showed impressive skills as a running back during the scrimmage which he played in towards the end of the day rushing for big yards against a determined defence.
In a post session interview, with Milburn Academy Eagles Head Coach, James Hudson gave his opinion on the day’s events, “Today was a fantastic day for the Highland Wildcats having 50 student athletes there. Every player had great potential for their team. As Millburn head coach I found that my team exceeded my expectations for the first week and can potentially do well in the HACL and progress on to the youth Wildcats squad”
Youth Development Officer, Robbie Paulin also added in his own perspective on the day’s events, “After around 6 months of planning it finally felt that our Community League pre-season got fully underway. Although the teams had been practicing individually throughout this week, this was the first time we saw them all together at The Blitz in helmets and shoulder pads. For having around 50 players in attendance the day seemed to flow really well and the staff made this happen. We had at least two coaches for each team, three volunteers as officials – helping install the rules in the players before the games start in February – and also a support staff that allowed the coaches to actually focus on coaching during the practice. The level of competition already in the players was impressive and for a first practice I personally felt it was a very high standard. I’m looking forward to seeing his this develops over the coming weeks.”
On a personal note as an observer of the event, it was clearly a success and hopefully some of these players can join the Youth Wildcats and help challenge for silverware in the upcoming years.
Article by Tom Green