Van Vleck ready to get back to football


Fresh off a tough 18-13 loss to East Bernard, Van Vleck will have this week off in order to get ready for its district home opener against Tidehaven Friday, Oct. 12 at Burl McKinney Stadium. 

“If we had a game this week, we would have to put that game behind us and get ready for it,” said Van Vleck Head Football Coach Robert Blackmon. “We can’t sit here and dwell on it. We just have to press on and move forward. We know there are bigger things we want to accomplish this season. We have five more games to look ahead to.”

Against East Bernard, Van Vleck appeared to have the game won on a couple of occasions late in the game but each time, the officials called penalties on the Leopards to negate touchdowns. 

“I thought our kids played hard — didn’t like the outcome but the kids played a hard four quarters even under the adversity that we faced,” Blackmon said. “They kept fighting to the end and it gives them something to build on for the rest of the season.”

Blackmon said not playing this week has its drawbacks for the Leopards as well.

“It would be great to have a game this week so we could put the East Bernard game behind us,” Blackmon said. “But the open week comes at a good time for us because we are kind of banged up as well and at a small school, you need to stay healthy. Our goal is to get healthy and make a good run the next five games.”

Blackmon said Van Vleck will return to the fundamentals of football during this off week.

“We want to work on the things we do best offensively,” Blackmon said. “On the defensive side of the ball, we are going to work on techniques. We are just going to work on the basics and get well on the things that are hurting us so far this year. We know there are things that we can improve on.

“We will start looking at Tidehaven next week,” Blackmon said. “We don’t want to put too much emphasis on them right now and have our guys ready to go and then have no game. We will work on Tidehaven next Monday.”

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