Natchez High School junior Sidney Davis prepares to throw a football after completing an agility drill during a team practice Monday morning behind the high school. Monday marked the first day for fall camp for area public schools. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Natchez High School junior Sidney Davis prepares to throw a football after completing an agility drill during a team practice Monday morning behind the high school. Monday marked the first day for fall camp for area public schools. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NHS, Cathedral try to endure first day of fall practice

Published 12:01am Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NATCHEZ — Junior Sidney Davis said a good meal goes a long way in helping fight fatigue during two-a-days.

Area public schools began their first day of fall camp Monday, and Davis participated in two practices Monday morning along with the rest of his Natchez High School teammates.

The Bulldogs had breakfast at the school after their 6:30 a.m. practice and were back in action at 10:30 a.m., fighting through the fatigue of having to do two sessions of football drills.

“We had a good break,” Davis said. “We ate good, so we’re out here trying to get at it again.”

NHS head football coach Lance Reed said he was excited to finally begin fall practice and hoped the coaches could light a spark in their players as they gear up for the season.

“We’re trying to get this group rallied up and coached up,” Reed said. “We want to go out there and get another year going.”

Reed said the Bulldogs would do two morning practices this week before switching to one practice a day next week. NHS will host Crystal Springs Aug. 16 for a jamboree game.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get people in the right direction,” Reed said. “Were focusing on fundamentals, linemen assignments and effort. We’re really in the process of putting football high on our priority list.”

Davis said he has high hopes for this year’s Bulldogs squad.

“We’re out here competing, and we feel like we’re going to be really good,” Davis said. “We just have to keep working, get more competitive and finish.”

Though public schools began practice a week later than usual, Reed said since the season’s start was pushed back a week, it doesn’t have much of an affect on the team’s preparation.

“It evens out,” Reed said. “We’re pleased with the opportunity to spend all day working on football with school not starting until Aug. 19.”

Cathedral High School

Turner Janette is ready to lay down a hit.

Janette, a Green Wave senior, fractured his L-1 vertebrae, tore four ligaments and strained two more ligaments in his spine during a weight room accident last summer. The accident kept him off the field his entire junior year,

On the Green Wave’s first day of fall camp Monday, there was a little disappointment in Janette’s voice as he realized the team wouldn’t be doing hitting drills.

“I’ve been wanting to hit,” Janette said. “I thought we’d hit (Monday). I can’t wait to put on the pads.”

Still, Janette couldn’t help but be excited that fall football activities had finally begun for Cathedral. Head coach Ron Rushing, however, was anything but enthusiastic after watching his team Monday.

“I’m not pleased with our leadership,” he said. “I haven’t seen the older guys stepping up and taking charge like they should.”

Rushing said during practice that he also wasn’t pleased with his team’s conditioning, but he later said the heat was probably a big factor in his players’ fatigue.

“I think the heat got to us,” Rushing said. “We lifted before we practiced, so I think that had something to do with it (as well).”

That was Janette’s evaluation of his teammates’ struggles Monday, saying the heat was taking its toll on the players.

“It’s pretty tough in the heat,” Janette said. “It’s not us being out of shape. The key is to stay hydrated. You have to drink a gallon of water every day — maybe two. This is a horrible time of the day (as far as heat goes).”

Rushing said the team already has a lot of its passing concepts down, and the focus will be on getting the players settled into their identities on offense and defense.

Cathedral will host Wilkinson County Christian Academy for its jamboree Aug. 16.