Stonewall Jackson Football Notebook: Lampman wants to see more aggressiveness after Generals’ final scrimmage

Pete Lampman

QUICKSBURG – Stonewall Jackson football coach Pete Lampman left his team’s first preseason scrimmage on Aug. 10 pleased with what he saw out of the Generals. Stonewall’s second scrimmage at Madison County last Friday produced a different emotion in Lampman.

The second-year head coach said prior to Tuesday’s practice that he was disappointed in the aggressiveness Stonewall showed against the Mountaineers, noting that the Generals severely lacked in that area on both sides of the ball.

“We’ve got a lot of potential out there,” Lampman said, “but we need to concentrate on doing what we’re coached to do and being more aggressive.”

The step back in that regard was ill timed for the Generals, who open the 2018 season on Friday night against Shenandoah County rival Strasburg on the road.

Lampman said Madison County didn’t physically overmatch Stonewall, which is mired in a 27-game losing streak dating back to 2015, but that mentally the Generals were outplayed. He added that he didn’t know if the reason was that the Generals’ focus wasn’t entirely there or if they were “thinking too much.”

Whatever the reason, last Friday’s performance didn’t present Lampman with the same positives he saw out of Stonewall’s first scrimmage against Rappahannock County at home.

“The first scrimmage was good. I thought they played hard. I thought we ran our offense well, so it was very positive,” Lampman said. “Second scrimmage, we didn’t run our offense well, we didn’t tackle well, we weren’t aggressive enough. But everything that happened in the second scrimmage is correctable – easily correctable.”

That’s the silver lining for the Generals, and Lampman said the team’s coaching staff went right to work addressing the team’s lack of aggressiveness in Monday’s practice.

“We came out here and tackled for 40 minutes (on Monday),” Lampman said. “We’re gonna be more aggressive, we’re gonna be more physical. Football’s a physical game. We’ve gotta be more physical so we’re gonna be more physical in practice.”

SIMPLE APPROACH: Lampman installed the triple-option offense when he took over as Stonewall’s head coach last season, and after the Generals’ struggled in 2017 (they averaged just 191 yards per game) they’ve make some cuts to make running that offense a more streamlined process.

Lampman said the first order of business was changing how the team calls its plays.

“We don’t have a whole numbering system now,” he said. “We simplified how we call the plays and then we just cut down on the number of plays. We don’t have a ton of different counters and pass plays and different things. Everything we run is fairly simple off the option and anything we do is pretty much off that motion. So we just tag certain plays if we do something different. But basically we just cut down on the number plays and how we call them so it’s very simple getting in and out of the huddle and getting up to the line of scrimmage, and hopefully recognizing what the defense is and making our line calls and running the play.”

The simplification of the Generals’ offense came following a camp in June, during which Lou Cella of the Triple Option Football Academy visited Stonewall and offered instruction on how to run that style of offense more effectively.

Lampman said prior to last week’s scrimmage, the Generals had been running the triple-option better and with fewer mistakes, and with more aggressiveness than last season.

Stonewall is taking a similar pared-down approach on the defensive side of the ball as well. Lampman said the Generals have fewer defensive calls, fewer reads and fewer “things to know” to allow the team’s defenders to do less thinking and more attacking.