Goose Creek Memorial’s football team had a open practice under the lights Friday night as about 150 spectators watched the end of the first week of practice for the program and new head coach Shannon Carter.

GCM coach wants to ‘change momentum’

There are a little less than three weeks to go before the football season kicks off, but Friday night, Goose Creek Memorial went into full blown, mid-season mode.

With ample of amounts of energy in the air and about 200 fans in the stadium at GCM, the Patriot football program held a practice under the lights with the theme of “Inauguration” with a new coaching staff and turf field.

Head coach Shannon Carter wanted to put his players in the spotlight early in the pre-season practice part of the schedule to get them accustomed to being under the lights with eyes on them on a Friday night of football in Texas.

“It was a good community event to have the kids rally together and try to build some energy,” Carter said. “We want to change the momentum and build some excitement about the sport. These kids deserve the best.

“It was a great crowd. I didn’t have any expectations since it was our first time doing it. We are trying to build a tradition here starting today and hopefully it gets bigger and bigger.”

Carter noticed the players’ response to the crowd.

“We built this week up pretty well,” Carter said. “We are trying to build a snowball rolling downhill. 

“It was extension of what we had been doing all week. Kids are making mistakes, but they are cutting down on those mistakes from what they did the previous day. We tried to treat it like a practice, but people are here, and we want the kids to get used to that environment.”

Senior Holden Hill, who plays cornerback and may line up at running back, has enjoyed the new way of doing things for the Patriots and Friday was an example of that.

“It’s a good atmosphere with the new coaches and we love it,” Hill said. “We’re going to win some games this year. Everyone went full speed and wanted to do everything right. This was something new. I never did anything like this before.

“The new turf is nice. I didn’t know it was going to be this nice. We have practiced a little on the turf during the week, but we are mainly on the fields. Defense practices on the grass.”

Hill also admits with parents, friends and others in the stands watching the Patriots, the players felt a greater sense of urgency.

“Seeing people out here makes people go harder and full speed,” Hill said. “No one wants to be embarrassed out here. It was a good week. We have to keep pushing the entire season.

“The coaches are pushing us harder. Everyone is trying to show off for them and have a fresh new start.”

Goose Creek, finished 2-8 in 2018, and opens the campaign at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 against Sam Rayburn at Stallworth Stadium.

“For us, we have 10 new coaches and a new system on both sides of the ball,” Carter said. “We just want them to get more and more comfortable with our schemes. I have never been a guy with an expectation. I just want us to keep getting better every day.

“Let’s go to work.”

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