Mount de Sales and FPD opened their seasons in similar fashion: an opening-game loss followed by a bye week.
The bye week is normally a time for coaches to rest their players and give them a chance to heal from injuries. For the teams that get a bye week so early in the season, they don’t have that opportunity, forced to play nine straight games without a week off.
“We have tried to create a positive outlook on the bye week, from the standpoint that you make more mistakes in game one than you do in any other game all season,” Mount de Sales head coach Keith Hatcher said. “Having two weeks to correct mistakes from that game is certainly beneficial.”
Mount de Sales took the first week to focus on becoming more physical and is using the second week to focus its attention on GMC.
“That is the only time all season that you have a week to spend correcting mistakes without focusing on the next opponent,” Hatcher said.
One of the downsides according to Hatcher is playing so many weeks without a bye week and not being able to heal from injuries as they pile up throughout the course of the season.
“On paper, I think any coach would say you ideally would like to have your bye week midseason,” Hatcher said. “Unfortunately, we do not have any control over that. Our philosophy as coaches is to make a positive out of anything.”
For FPD head coach Greg Moore, the bye week could not have come at a better time.
“Having an early bye may seem like a disadvantage, so to speak. We feel like it hit at the perfect time for us,” Moore said. “There is nothing like playing that first game live to expose those things that you need to get fixed immediately.”
Week one allowed the Vikings the chance to learn on the job and give the coaching staff a chance to look at the team’s strengths and weaknesses, according to Moore.
Much like Mount de Sales, the Vikings took the bye week to work on their fundamentals, instead of focusing on their matchup with Monticello.
“We took the week to really work on FPD. It really did not matter who the next opponent was,” Moore said. “Monticello has our full attention this week. They are a good football team.”
And Moore said the Vikings are looking at playing nine straight as a positive.
Both coaching staffs have tried to take advantage of the early off week by correcting mistakes and preparing their players for the long season ahead.
And both teams are on the road coming off the bye week.
“I think most high school kids do best when they are in a week to week routine, and we will be there nine straight weeks without an open week for the rest of the way,” Moore said.