A bright sun pelted Rowland Stadium Friday morning as Taye Gatewood finished his morning progressions with a series of crisp passes over the middle.
Two weeks in and the Southside Mavericks are right on schedule.
Of course, having a three-year quarterback has its perks.
"I don't have to worry about him (Gatewood) not knowing the offense," Southside quarterbacks coach Justin Key said. "Plus, he can coach the other guys up and get people lined up, especially the younger guys."
"It's been really good," Williams said. "We get so much time in the summer, so it's just getting a lot of repetition. The second week, we moved some guys around to create some depth. We're thin, so we have to be cautious what we're doing out there."
A day under three weeks shy of traveling to Bentonville to face Bentonville West in the team's season opener, the Mavericks have managed to avoid the injury bug. Senior receiver Tyrese Solomon was held out of practice Friday with a nagging injury but should be fine when Southside faces the high-powered Wolverines.
"Tyrese has been out for a little bit, but it's good for the young guys to get some reps," Key said. "There's no reason to rush anything."
"It’s been pretty good," Gatewood said. "Just knowing that you have been through this before and trying to get on the same page as your teammates."
The Mavericks still have a week before they scrimmage Alma (Aug. 20).
Solomon's inactivity has given sophomores Jackson Morawski and Taylor Vaughn a chance to familiarize themselves with Gatewood's play-making style.
Senior Jordyn Jackson and junior Josh Hannah have also looked good, Key said.
"It's good for the young guys to get some reps," the coach said. "He's (Gatewood) throwing the ball real well. As long as he can stay healthy, I think he's going to have a big year."
"It’s been tough at first, but we gotta be patient and get them more reps in practice, and make them more comfortable with what is going on," Gatewood said.
The Mavericks had a short workout Friday, Williams said. And, though the two-hour practice lacked rhythm, Southside did finalize its kicking game — with three weeks to go.
"Our kids are ready to see somebody else," Williams said. "They're ready to hit somebody else."