Area MPSA schools hold first football workout Monday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 9, 2003

How about that heat, huh?

Try starting two-a-day workouts in it. Or three-a-days, for that matter.

Area MPSA schools began football workouts Monday and will continue to do so rain or shine &045; preferably rain, if you care to ask &045; over the next two weeks to prepare for the 2003 season.

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And while the weather was somewhat forgiving Monday with cloudy skies, the humidity took up its slack as players took the first step in getting in shape.

&uot;Actually, it could have been worse, &uot; Adams Christian head coach Keith Walters said. &uot;The weather wasn’t too bad this morning, but it was humid in the afternoon. They suffered, but that’s part of it. It could have been worse. It’s hot right now in Natchez, Mississippi. You’re not going to have it any other way on that.&uot;

Players at AC, Huntington, Trinity Episcopal, WCCA, Centreville and Chamberlain-Hunt got kicked off Monday with workouts and addressing the holes left by graduating seniors from a year ago.

If it’s overall athletic condition you’re talking about, the Saints at Trinity Episcopal might have to be at the top of the list. Granted, there’s a group of athletes who can’t help but stay in top shape since they play every sport at the school.

But they didn’t let up in the summer months, and that’s where they are ahead of the game right now.

&uot;The kids are in extremely good shape at this time of year,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;They’ve spent time in the weight room. In my nine years at Trinity, it’s the best shape for a group of guys to come in. It was a great workout.&uot;

Down in Woodville, coaches at WCCA are setting up three-a-day workouts for the first week before two-a-days begin before the start of school Aug. 8. Keep in mind the Rams were already plenty physical last year, and they have some of that size left over in hopes of another run to the playoffs this fall.

Workouts go from 8 until 10:20 a.m., special teams work out for an hour while other watch film and workouts resume from 3:15 until 5:30 p.m.

&uot;The kids did pretty well,&uot; WCCA head coach Paul Hayles said. &uot;The toughest part was early on. It seemed like at first we looked a little sluggish, but they had a good practice. We’re pleased. We’ll pretty much eat, sleep and breathe football. We feel that if we can do that we have their total attention until academics come into play.&uot;

Once players get into football mode, then it’s on to preparing for the season. AC welcomed running back Luke Ogden to workouts after he accounted for most of the Rebels’ offense last year as a junior.

He’s close to 225 pounds now after spending a good bit of his summer in the weight room.

&uot;Luke looks good,&uot; Walters said. &uot;He was ready to go. He was in pretty decent shape. He looks like he’s ready to go, but you never know &045; Luke is never going to say two words. We’re looking forward to putting a team around him and seeing what we can do.&uot;

The Rebels will begin working on special teams &045; Ogden and Timmy Foster may end up taking kicking duties &045; while the team will really emphasize tackling and defense next week once the team goes to pads.

Numbers, meanwhile, couldn’t have been better at Trinity as it suited up 24 kids Monday. The Saints lost just two players from last year and have returners in Ryan Rachal, Gregory Ketchings, Walt Ketchings, Chase Brown and Dudley Guice Jr. to make another run at a state title.

&uot;Nine of these kids started on the state championship team two years ago,&uot; King said. &uot;It’s a very sound group, and for the first time since I’ve been here we’ve got depth. Out of those 24 kids, there are some good players in that group. The bottom 15 are really good ball players. There’s going to be a lot of expectations for this team, and we’re excited about that.&uot;

Similar to Ogden, the Rams welcomed back sizeable fullback Dustin Dor while they must assemble a front line that was senior-laiden in 2002.

&uot;We’ve got 12 seniors,&uot; Hayles said. &uot;We’ve got a good group returning, and we have some good underclassmen returning. We’ll see how that goes. He (Dor) looks pretty good. He’s 220 (pounds), and last year he was about 215 or 212. The seniors we had last year &045; they did a very goo d job on the line of scrimmage for us. That’s probably the biggest thing we’ve got to do. If you can’t win in the trenches, you’re going to be in a bind.&uot;