With a week zero game on the slate, the beginning of the 2012 football season came early for the Hoover High football team. So did the Tornadoes' bye week, which saw the team sidelined for week one action.
While Hoover may have had the past Friday night off, the Tornadoes didn't take the week off following their Aug. 24 season-opening 46-0 win over Blair by any means, using the time to run a full schedule of practices and study up for week two's matchup with South Pasadena on Friday.
"We're doing a lot of perfecting our plays, seeing what we did wrong against Blair and we've been watching a lot of film on last year's game against South Pasadena," said Tornadoes senior quarterback Brendon Kerr, who completed all five of his passes for 102 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a 17-yard score to help Hoover snap a 17-game losing streak going back to 2010. "We need to fix the little mistakes so we can win the game in the end."
While a 46-point shutout would seem to offer little in the way of areas to improve upon, senior center Gio Martinez said the Tornadoes won't be resting on their laurels going into the matchup with the Tigers, who handed Hoover a 39-6 loss when the teams met in the second week of the 2011 season.
"Overall, we think we did pretty good, but with the bye week we haven't been taking a break," Martinez said. "We've been preparing ourselves for South Pasadena and fixing our mistakes from what we did [against] Blair.
"We've been trying new plays and formations and all that. We're taking it slow, but we're going full speed at the same time."
Getting a bye at such an early stage, and at a time when the team seems to be riding its first wave of momentum in a while, could be a double-edged sword, however.
"It's a good thing and it's also a bad thing," Kerr said. "We would love to play already and we've wanted the season to start. It was a good start to see where we were at and now we know where everybody is on the team, so we can fix little tiny mistakes before we go into the long season.
"We're not going to have another bye week for the rest of the season. It's going to be long, but we've had some kids show up and step up to the plate and it's good to see who really wants it and how bad they want it."
Hoover Coach Andrew Policky said in order to set up the team's week three matchup with Temple City, the Tornadoes were forced to take their bye during week one.
"It ended up being a good thing for us because it was Labor Day weekend and it's kind of a pain to get everybody in on that weekend," Policky said. "It just kind of fell into place. Looking at it now, I know it's early, but I kind of like having Labor Day weekend be the bye week. I think it's worked out pretty well. We had a real good week of practice and were able to clean a lot of things up."