For a second consecutive year, coaches from our club toured the state of Texas and took in all that is to offer on the gridiron and the concentric circles around it that make up the world of football in that state.

In 2015 four Sutherland Seahawk coaches, Peter Upham, Christos Lambropoulos, Jason Lambropoulos and Chris Barry toured Baylor University, Texas A&M University, Temple High School and Cedar Hill High School, taking in 6 games and countless practices as well as watching film and meeting with coaching staffs.

There aren’t many high schools in Australia that have facilities like Temple High school; these include a Jumbotron.
Seahawks Offensive coordinator/OL coach Jason Lambropoulos (right) and RB coach Chris Barry (left) watch Temple high’s offensive line group at practice.

Baylor University has been an obvious magnet for our club’s attention with two ex-players on the roster there. Blake and Sean Muir, brothers from Sutherland, have been at Baylor since 2013, Blake is currently the starting Left Guard for a team that is ranked at #3 in the nation so far in 2015.

The trip was largely oriented around seeing Baylor play two games, a home game vs Rice and a neutral site game vs Texas Tech. The dates corresponded with a bye week and the Long Weekend off in Australia which allowed a gap where the coaches could travel and the remaining coaches to continue to run practice.

Blake #73 was an offensive captain for the Texas Tech game at AT&T Stadium.

Sean walks from the team bus to Baylor’s McLane Stadium.

It has been a very fortuitous time for the Muir brothers to arrive at Baylor and contribute to its success. The program is experiencing its greatest ever results and has an excellent shot this year to qualify for the College Football Playoff and National Championship. Already 4-0 and ranked #3 for 2015 so far, we will continue to watch every game. A reminder that a blog diary is kept on our site and can be accessed here.

Many thanks need to go to Baylor’s offensive line coach Randy Clements and Head Coach Art Briles for allowing us to watch their private practices while we were there.

Texas A&M has the sort of facilities expected of a high caliber program in College football.

Baylor was not the only college program that we had a chance to visit with and watch practice. Texas A&M is in College Station and another well respected college program, even if the two schools don’t like each other! Head Coach Kevin Sumlin was also very generous with allowing us to watch practice and tour their facilities.

There are elements of the offensive and defensive systems from both of those college teams that have already been incorporated at our club, and it was nice to watch, knowing the fact that we make the same points of emphasis in our drills.

Cedar Hill, like Temple, is one of the premier high school programs in Texas. The number of college prospects that come out of each school is a credit to the consistency and attention to detail of the Head Coaches (Spradlin at Temple, McGuire at Cedar Hill).

Cedar Hill’s 4 starting defensive backs for example are already all committed to Division One programs. Both schools have sent players to Baylor and Texas A&M, Coach Spradlin previously was a part of Art Briles’ coaching staff at the University of Houston and obviously has an excellent relationship still.

Little planes fly advertising signs over High school games in Texas, that’s how big the crowds are.
With LB and Kickers Coach Ruzicka

The differences between the high school/collegiate sporting model and the club sporting model in Australia is significant and a cause for consideration for all sports here, not just our own.

There is a lot to like about a system that fosters high quality sporting output as well as school and community involvement. An article discussing the differences can be seen on the club’s gym website, Shire Speed and Strength.

It has been a focus of our club in the last few seasons to as much as possible mimic the best strategies of where football is done the best. It was relieving to the coaches for whom it was their first trip to Texas, that everything was as expected.

They say you can never have too many friends and I feel like we made several new friends in Texas and we’ll go back in the future.

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