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New Richmond football gets an early start on 2012 season

Sevin Davis works on his passing form in this drill for the quarterbacks during the New Richmond football summer practice days.1 / 4
New Richmond varsity football coach Jason Eckert works with freshman Brady Maus on the proper hand placement for throwing an accurate pass.2 / 4
One of the popular drills in the scrimmages was this ball control drill, where Tiger defenders can use almost any means possible to get the ball out of their teammate's grasp. Here Taner Hoppe has Connor O'Laughlin wrapped up as he tries to punch the ball free.3 / 4
Derek Dowd carries the ball as the Tigers work on their sweep package during one of the practices.4 / 4

While some teams get their summer football practice days done early, New Richmond football coach Jason Eckert is a believer in using the days late in July.

The Tigers used three of their scrimmage days for practices last week. They finished the summer practices by travelling to Menomonie to scrimmage against the defending Big Rivers Conference champion Mustangs.

There were approximately 50 Tigers taking part in last week's practices. Eckert said that was a decent number. He expects 65 boys to show up when practices begin for real next week, saying most of those who weren't in attendance were freshmen.

There was a definite concentration on the fundamentals in these practices. Eckert said with a high percentage of younger players on the team, he wanted to make sure the team got a strong foundation started.

These practices were also a good chance for the players to get adjusted to the new coaching assignments within the staff. While Eckert will continue to run the offense, Tate Wheeler has been promoted to defensive coordinator. The rest of the staff assignments are:

Defensive backs: Justin Hopwood

Defensive line/JV defense: Brad Malpert

Linebackers/freshman defense: Troy Cran

Running backs/JV offense: Ben Nadeau

Offensive line/special teams: Andrew McGlenn

Receivers/freshman offense: Anthony Hartung