It's gratifying for coaches to find out their team is listening.
And last spring the Missouri S&T Miner football players apparently listened to head coach Tyler Fenwick.
Back in May Fenwick stressed to his club at the end of spring drills the importance of reporting to fall camp in shape and ready to go full-throttle from the get-go.
And he says that's exactly what has happened after the first week of practice.
"The first week has gone good," said Fenwick, in his first season as Miner head coach. "The kids came back knowing what to do, so it was all review for them. We just started where we left off. We talked about that in the spring, coming back in shape. Now it's reps and perfecting it."
Practice began Monday in the Miner Dome, as the wet weather forced things indoors. Since then, however, Fenwick couldn't have requested better practice weather, as it's been dry and unseasonably cool the last few days.
In fact, the coach would probably welcome a little heat for a couple of practice days, to get the players used to it.
"The first two days were just teaching anyway," he said. "So being inside was fine. The weather as been great. It's been so good you worry that on game day it's going to be real humid and hot. If that's the case you worry about cramping."
Starting this coming week Fenwick said he and his staff will get down to evaluating and formulating the depth chart.
"We've kind of broken it down in weeks," he said. "(Last) week was more teaching and instillation. Starting this week we can kind of set a depth chart and start evaluating at different positions."
And as offensive coordinator Fenwick will concern himself with the wide-open competition at quarterback.
It appears sophomore Reed Brown (5-11, 190), sophomore Evan Merz (6-6, 230) and red-shirt freshman Peter Simpson (6-1, 185) are the candidates for the starting nod. And the next two weeks of practice will be vital in the race, as Fenwick did not get the chance to see last year's backups – Brown and Merz – during spring practice. Brown was on the S&T baseball team and Merz was in the school's coop program last semester.
"Every day is competition; no one has pulled away," Fenwick said of the QB derby. "I grade them every day. It's fun to watch every day, because they know they're competing.
"Reed, Evan and Pete are battling right now; they just keep on flipping. This week will tell a lot. The system is in; now it's perfecting what we have."
Page 2 of 2 - MINER NOTES: The Miner defense took a jolt with the loss of starting junior defensive tackle Josip Juric for the season with a knee injury. Juric (6-2, 260) earned All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honorable mention honors last season with 21 solo tackles, 16 assists and a sack.