For The Tribune

With less than 24 hours notice, members of the Seymour football team were informed they could step foot on their new home field.

The school was given the OK on Friday to scrimmage on the turf, so the program heeded the opportunity at first chance.

Seymour senior football players Todd Kiewitt and Dalton Miller both thoroughly enjoyed playing on the new turf field at Bulleit Stadium on Saturday night during the intrasquad scrimmage.

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“We were just getting used to it,” Kiewitt said. “It’s a new facility. It’s a lot better than sliding in the mud. We’re going to get with it and have fun.”

Indiana high school football teams began fall practice Monday.

“We’re blessed to have this opportunity for our Seymour community to come together and provide this field for us,” Miller said. “Tonight I had so much fun on it. It’s a lot easier to maneuver, and it sure does look pretty.

“Each and every day there is things we can improve on. The next day we can always improve from yesterday. Team camp really helped that out. We were busting our butts there, and we just came together.”

Kiewitt, who started at outside linebacker last year, said he thinks the team made a lot of progress during the week even though they have a long way to go.

“We definitely need to work on the inside backers for our defense,” he said. “We began Monday, and we just got better from there. Every day we need to keep getting better and better. The summer camp made us come together as a team more, and made us work harder as a team.”

Miller, who was a two-way starter at center and nose tackle last fall, said with the numbers up and the depth improved, he is hoping to reduce his playing time on offense.

“I feel we can show more intensity out on the field,” Miller said. “Everybody is doing their job. You hear some talk, but I’d like for our team to get more fired up because that really brings the enthusiasm, and I think enthusiasm brings positive vibes.

“I felt like we had a terrific summer. We got stronger, and this summer and where we’re at now, we’re way past where we were at the end of last summer. It’s just a big improvement. I’m really happy to see that, especially my senior season. I appreciate the younger guys busting their butts for me.”

Owls head coach Josh Shattuck said he felt like the team enjoyed playing on the field.

“How could you not? It’s just beautiful,” he said. “It’s consistent. The fill is a little high, it needs to settle in so there is a little bit of slickness, but nothing out of the ordinary. The nice part is its consistency. It’s the same everywhere. I felt like it was good to go live and get tackled to the ground, and the kids get used to playing on it. It’s a culmination of a good week of work for us.”

The coaches divided the varsity up to make the teams more balanced during the scrimmage.

“We split the team up so you’ve got half your starters on offense,” Shattuck said. “We told them there is going to be timing issues. We had guys playing, I don’t want to say out of position, but we had guys that are primarily defensive players who had to start on offense to make it work.

“What it did, we got everybody out there and got everybody a lot of reps. The execution was probably a C, which for this time of the year is what you expect. You saw a lot of stuff in the passing game where we’re just off by a smidge.”

Shattuck wants the Owls to be competitive every Friday night.

“We’re putting them in spots that are difficult because there’s actually pressure,” Shattuck said. “There’s expectations now, and with expectations comes pressure. We to put them in spots early in the year so that we’re not freaking out when things happen in games so we’re more prepared for things that happen in football once the games start.”

The Owls will host Corydon Central for a scrimmage Friday night, then will open the regular season at Silver Creek on Aug. 19, followed by the home opener Aug. 26 against Jeffersonville.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.