TRAINING DAYS: Green responsible for preparing offense

Patrick Strohecker
  • Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Taylor Green is entering his seventh year with the team.
  • Red Lion uses film sessions to break down practices and prepare for opponents.
  • Players will watch several hours of film per week, either together or on their own.

This week, The York Dispatch is following the Red Lion football team through its first four days of practices, film sessions and strength-and-conditioning workouts as part of a series called "Training Days." Following is the third installment of the series.

RED LION — It might not get the attention that an on-field practice receives, but a film session can be just as essential to a football team's preparation.

Especially a high school team.

Training Days with Red Lion football

Sitting inside a classroom at Red Lion Senior Area High School, with the blinds drawn and the lights off, 19 members of the Lions football team go through clip after clip, breaking down one of its practices. Few show much enjoyment about being there. The occasional athlete called on to discuss a certain situation responds with little emotion.

This can be as much a learning moment for the Lions quarterback and receiving corps as it can be a daunting moment. Players are often fearful about being singled out for making a bad read, running a poor route or dropping a pass. Yet, all of it can be just as important as the actual plays that occur on the field — the same ones that they're watching themselves perform on the video screen.

"Watching film, I guess it takes two parts," offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Taylor Green said. "One, they can see their mistakes. What they did well. What they can improve on, and coaches give them feedback. And the second part would be preparing for opponents."

"They gotta be the smartest person on the field": Wednesday, it was strictly a time to dissect about a dozen or so plays that the team ran in 7-on-7 drills during Tuesday's practice.

Most of the time, the burden of one of Green's questions about a situation or a read fell on the shoulders of any of the three quarterbacks in the room — senior Sam Emig, junior Zach Throne and sophomore Zach Mentzer. That's the life of being a quarterback sitting in a film session. It's the one position on the field that not only needs to know what routes the receivers will run, but also where the best passing lanes will be based on the coverage the defense is in.

That's also the reason why, when the receivers in the group were dismissed from the film session after about 30 minutes, the quarterbacks had to stick around for an extra 10 minutes, which is light compared to what is sometimes required of them.

"Quarterbacks have the most responsibility," Green said. "They gotta be the smartest person on the field. They have to know everyone's responsibilities. I think our quarterbacks are pretty sharp. I've been blessed with a lot of very intelligent, smart kids that work hard."

Assistant coach Kyle Masser (left) watches film with senior quarterback Sam Emig (center) and head coach Jesse Shay on Wednesday at Red Lion Senior Area High School.

Green isn't lying when he talks about the quarterbacks he's dealt with over his previous six years with the program, which includes the last three years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Green coached and developed Dalton Grove the past two years and will now work with Emig, who actually saw some valuable snaps as a junior last season. Going forward, the Lions are also set at the position for the next several years, with Throne and Mentzer in line to be the quarterbacks of the future for the program. There are also a couple incoming freshman expected to succeed them.

TRAINING DAYS: Johnson ensures Lions strong, in shape

Right now, Red Lion is primarily focused on improving on the mistakes it's made in the first week of practice. In a couple weeks, however, after their Week 1 opponent, Waynesboro, plays its first two scrimmages, then the Lions will get fresh tape and begin preparation for the opening week of the season. For now, however, anything Red Lion wants to know about the Indians, it'll have to get from film obtained from 2015.

Still, the Lions are more concerned about themselves at the moment. They want to make sure that any and all mistakes made in the opening week of practices are cleaned up by Week 1.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at

TRAINING DAYS: Behind the scenes with Red Lion football