Chemistry could be key for Warriors

Sherando coach Bill Hall works with players during a recent practice. Rich Cooley/Daily

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando head football coach Bill Hall believes in team chemistry and how important that is to a team’s success. That’s why each year he takes his team to Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia, for a little team bonding.

Hall said it’s a good experience for the players and coaches to get to know each other a little better.

“There’s a purpose why you do that. You want to get away together,” Hall said. “Purposeful time spent away together is how you accelerate the relationship building process.”

Hall said it’s hard for the team to be together a lot in the off season, so this another way for the team to grow closer.

“You can accelerate [team bonding] when you break bread together at every meal, and you sleep together, when you condition together, when you share moments of your life together,” Hall said. “Those are the things that make each other care about each other and play for each other.”

The team went there July 30-Aug. 2 to start their preseason practice.

While the team does drills and conditioning and work on the physical aspects of the game, Hall said the team also talks and bonds. He said they go around the room sharing positive and negative moments of their lives, which also help them bond.

“I think our guys gain a lot of insight on what makes each other tick,” Hall said. “I think we do a lot of sharing about things that have been great in our life and things that have been challenges in our life and it shows the human nature of each of us — both coaches and players. It shows how we’re all vulnerable and how emotions play a huge part of who we are and how we play the game of football. I think you don’t get that unless you’re away purposely sharing information that is confidential within the group.”

Not all of the players are always happy about the trip to Graves Mountain Lodge. Sherando junior Dylan Rivers said it’s not something he looks forward to for several reasons.

“Graves is terrible every year. The coaches condition us like no other,” Rivers said. “It’s real hot and humid and a lot of mosquitoes — and no cell phone service.”

FIRST TIME OUT: Hall said there were plenty of positives from his squad in their first scrimmage last week against Musselman.

“As a coach you’re always focusing on things you have to improve on,” Hall said. “You sometimes forget all the things you do well. Looking back on the film, there were a lot of positives there.”

Hall said the players were excited to play against somebody different, and it was a good learning experience for the team.

“It’s a teaching moment for us,” Hall said. “A lot of positives there, a lot of room for improvement. Guys need to make the adjustment now as to how they’re going to respond to that learning moment we had.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com