Ferriday High School head football coach Cleothis Cummings spots for Jadarius Cauley as he lifts weights on the bench press during summer workouts Monday afternoon. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)
Ferriday High School head football coach Cleothis Cummings spots for Jadarius Cauley as he lifts weights on the bench press during summer workouts Monday afternoon. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

Trojans looking to improve on last season with summer workouts

Published 12:01am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

FERRIDAY — Ferriday High School rising senior Cailyn Glenn is looking at last season as an example of what he doesn’t want to happen this fall.

The Trojans’ outside linebacker is hard at work with the rest of his teammates going through the team’s summer strength and conditioning program, and Glenn said there’s one goal in mind for Ferriday this fall.

“We want our season to be the opposite of last year,” Glenn said. “Last year, we went 2-8, and this year, we want to go 10-0 and make the playoffs and see where it goes from there. That’s everyone’s goal.”

In order to have such a dramatic turnaround, Glenn said he and his teammates would have to show a lot of dedication and leadership. It also helps that head coach Cleothis Cummings now has a year under his belt, instead of just taking over the program, as was the case in 2012.

“We didn’t have a whole summer to work out, and we were still trying to transition and trying to put in a new offense and defense,” Glenn said. “When it finally started working, it was too late (in the season) for us to do anything.”

Summer workouts have been ongoing since June 10 for the Trojans, and Cummings said he’s been pleased with the participation, especially among the returning players.

“I would grade our participation as a B-minus,” Cummings said. “I’d have to say from last year’s players, we have 100-percent (participation). We’re focusing on getting the newer kids involved.”

Cummings has some rapport with the younger players, since he was the head coach at Ferriday Junior High School in 2010, but he said the coaches still have plenty to teach the younger players.

Workouts have been focused on weight lifting and on-field conditioning drills. So far, Cummings said he’s pleased with the progress of his players.

“The object of this summer versus last has been for us to hit the weights as hard as possible and develop our strength and conditioning,” Cummings said. “We’ve been lifting since the last game of last year, and we’ve seen great improvements with these kids.”

Glenn also said he’s been impressed with the growth of his teammates over the summer.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of improvement, especially in the younger players,” Glenn said. “Everyone is working hard and trying to get better.”

The summer routine will continue until school is back in session in August, and Cummings said everything the players are doing will help build toward game performance this fall.

“Summer workouts build up morale for the first two or three games,” Cummings said. “After that, you start developing game shape.”

And if you don’t spend the summer building yourself up, Glenn said the results would be evident late in games.

“(The workouts) help get you in game shape and get you ready to play hard for four quarters,” Glenn said. “All the running we do is to build up our wind, and lifting weights makes us stronger so we don’t get pushed around.”