Donning full gear for the first time Monday afternoon, the Bastrop Rams practiced outside for one hour, 15 minutes, before the session was halted by lightning.
The Rams went indoors for a weight lifting session and did not return as the lightning continued. Head coach Thomas Bachman had planned to keep the Rams outside about 45 minutes longer.
“You hate that the on-field work was cut short, but there's not much you can do about it,” Bachman said. “This time of the year, you need all the time on the field you can get. (The change in schedule) gave us an opportunity to get a lift in and work on the mental side of the game.”
Prior to taking the field, the Rams met with their position coaches and coordinators for about an hour. A thunderstorm led to a steamy first day of practice.
TYPICAL: All-in-all, the Rams' first practice was about what Bachman expected.
“I thought it was a typical first day,” Bachman said. “We had a lot of mental mistakes, but I thought the effort was good. I think the kids are buying into what we're trying to do. The kids' attitudes are good and they're being coachable. A kid that really wants to be taught — those are the kind of kids that are fun to coach.”
J-MAN: As was the case in the spring, all eyes in preseason camp are focused on senior quarterback J-Man Davis. A converted running back, Davis is entering his first season behind center.
“Obviously, the quarterback plays an important role in our offense,” Bachman said of the Rams' spread attack. “J-Man showed flashes of what he can do and the ability he has today. It's going to be a daily process. He has to learn and grow with each day that passes.”
Veteran wide receivers Jay Wilson and Jamari Payne made some big plays during the team session.
COORDINATORS: Bachman will take on the role of offensive coordinator this season. He was the Rams' OC in 2010, before assuming the head coaching position in 2011. Tommie Keller, last year's OC, recently accepted a job offer in Texas.
Former Farmerville head coach and Ouachita defensive coordinator Brad Morace is in charge of the defense.
DEFENSE: On the defensive side, tackle Cray Robinson was dominant.
Rover William Fields, perhaps the team's most improved player in the spring, picked up where he left off Monday.
“Fields had a great offseason and he showed up and worked all summer,” Bachman said. “He had a great spring and he continued to improve today.”
CAPTAINS: Fields, Wilson and fellow seniors, Chandler Flowers and defensive tackle Isaac Brown have been designated as team captains.
Page 2 of 2 - SCRIMMAGE: Bastrop will see its first live action against an opponent when it travels to Alexandria Senior High on Friday, Aug. 17, for a preseason scrimmage.
DATE CHANGE: Bastrop's Week 5 game at West Monroe has been moved up a day to Thursday, Sept. 20. Many area high school teams have switched to Thursday games that week as Baylor will visit ULM on Friday, Sept. 21. ESPN will carry the 7 p.m. live from Malone Stadium.
MICHAEL DOWNS has enrolled at Arkansas Baptist College and has joined the Buffalos for preseason practice.
Downs, a defensive end/linebacker, recorded 44 tackles and a sack for Bastrop last season.
He joins former Rams Xavier Robinson and Ronderius Dowles at the Little Rock school.