The Royal Palm Beach High School football program, under the direction of head coach Chuck Kenyon, is trending in the right direction.
Kenyon, who is starting his second year in charge of the Wildcat football program, is entering his 24th year of coaching high school football and his 15th as a head coach. He is very optimistic that this year’s team will play better than last year’s team, which managed just two wins.
According to Kenyon, this year’s team is fitter, faster, stronger and mentally tougher than last year’s unit. He also likes the collective positive mental attitude of his squad. Kenyon is as excited about the present as he is the future of Royal Palm Beach High School’s football program.
“We have an impressive group of incoming freshmen on the team,” Kenyon said.
Two of the team leaders on Royal Palm Beach’s football squad agree with their head coach.
“We’ve been working hard on conditioning this summer. We’re getting faster, we’re communicating better and we’re more of a family,” said junior Landon Earl, who is expected to open the season as the team’s starting quarterback. “Our coaches are teaching us how to read defenses and how to stay patient on the field.”
“I’m expecting good results this season, since we’ve been working hard in training this summer,” added senior Emerson Dort, who will play wide receiver on offense and as a safety on defense.
The first official day of fall football practice will be Monday, July 31. Kenyon’s team will practice during the first week from 3 to 6 p.m. During that first week, the players will wear helmets and shorts on the first two days. Then, they will wear helmets, shoulder pads and shorts for the next three days.
“We call that first week of practice acclimation week,” Kenyon said. “We will work on a number of agility drills and football-related activities. We’ll also review what’s in our offensive and defensive playbooks.”
In light of the excessive heat throughout August and September, Kenyon and his coaching staff will provide multiple water breaks for the players.
“The players are allowed to take water breaks at any time,” Kenyon said.
While the first day of practice will be July 31, Kenyon, his assistants and the players have been working on strength and conditioning drills since early June. Throughout the summer, the focal points have been getting stronger and faster.
“We’ve been in the weight room and on the track three days a week during the summer,” Kenyon said. “We’ve also attended some team camps, where our offensive and defensive lines have worked hard to get better.”
The best camp experience for Royal Palm Beach was at Keiser University in West Palm Beach in mid-June.
“The Keiser camp was absolutely positive for us,” Kenyon said. “There, we successfully worked on some scenario-based situations. We played well at the Keiser camp and learned a great deal. We held our own against other teams, and we were not intimidated at all.”
Kenyon’s assistant coaches this year will be Alton Lane, Jeff Woodson, Brandon Huggins, Brandon Bynes, Timothy Berrieum, D.J. Rolle and Dale Eby.
The Wildcats will begin the season with a pre-season kickoff classic on Friday, Aug. 18, when they play at West Boca Raton High School at 7 p.m. Royal Palm Beach’s opening game of the regular season will be at Fort Pierce Westwood High School on Friday, Aug. 25.