Area schools begin summer football workouts soon

Published 12:27 am Monday, May 18, 2009

NATCHEZ — While most local high school students will be having fun during the next few months, football players will have just a couple of weeks off before getting ready for grueling summer workouts.

Natchez High starts its summer workouts Monday, June 1 and Bulldogs head coach Lance Reed said his team will be weight training as well as conditioning and doing agility workouts.

“We usually don’t go to conditioning camps. We go to specialized camps for lineman and 7-on-7 passing camps.” Reed said.

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And for Natchez High to make its second straight playoff appearance — this year in the new Class 6A after making its first postseason berth in Class 5A since 1997 last year — conditioning will be an important factor.

“Conditioning is an important part of what the players do for the upcoming season. We lift weights during the season. But the off-season is really important for the upcoming season ahead,” Reed said. “It keeps them from getting injured and prepares them for the wear and tear of the upcoming season.”

Summer workouts at Natchez High change from year to year, Reed said.

“We usually do our research and improve something about (them). Last year we went to a 6 a.m. workout. One thing we’re going to do this year is give them Fridays off. We’ll work at 6 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays this summer,” he said.

Trinity Episcopal will start its summer workouts on Tuesday, May 26. Saints head coach David King said his team’s summer workouts will be somewhat like the workouts done at LSU and with the Tennessee Titans.

“We’re very fortunate to have LSU’s and the Tennessee Titans’ complete workouts. We’ve had Stevan Ridley at LSU and Dudley Guice Jr. picked up by the Tennessee Titans,” King said. “We sort of hodgepodge around theirs and come up with our own, running and lifting. We do all our conditioning ourselves.”

Since King became the head football coach at Trinity Episcopal in 1998, the varsity football team’s summer workouts have changed every year.

“When new information comes out, we implement it,” King said. “Our JV works out in the summer, too. Our seventh- and eighth-graders run and lift with our varsity bunch. High school football is a year-round sport now. The teams that win year in and year out have a great summer program.”

King added that the Mississippi Private School Association requires all teams to take off one week a year. “And besides that, unless they’re on vacation or church trips, the kids usually show up almost 100 percent. We’ve been very fortunate.”

Cathedral has already started its summer program and head coach Craig Beesley said the team will take next week off for exams before getting back to work the following week.

Beesley said the focus for the Green Wave’s summer workouts will be conditioning and heavy lifting in the weight room. “Get some of the kids to gain some weight, but also keep their flexibility up. Everything is done here on campus.”

He added that the weight room is being refurbished and is expected to be one of the nicest in the are and could end up being the nicest in Class 1A in Mississippi.

As for how the summer workouts will get the players ready for the upcoming football season, Beesley said, “The main thing is trying to add strength and agility to them. We try to focus on both to add speed while we get stronger.”

And Cathedral’s summer workout program will be similar to what it was last year.

“Coach and athletic director Josh Loy designed the program last summer and we’ll do it again this summer,” Beesley said. “Coach Loy does a good job with this.”

Adams County Christian School head coach Paul Hayles said the Rebels’ summer workouts will start on the first week of June and will take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Hayles said that his team will work on speed and agility. “The early part of summer you cane get more power into it,” he noted.

“The one we incorporate is one of the best – things we’ve seen at different universities, coaching clinics and stuff that we’ve seen work well over time. That’s standard. That’s how everyone gets their information.”

Hayles said the summer workouts are a good way to strengthen the players’ joints and tendons and can keep them from getting injured during the season.

“We want them to be as safe as they can be. Players are bigger, stronger, faster. That’s why it’s a necessity to be in the weight room. You have to have a kid that will match that speed and strength,” Hayles said. “It also keeps them acclimated to the heat. You do these things and do them diligently during the summer, you will have a successful season.”

Hayles added that this year’s summer workouts will be quite similar to those since he has been the head coach at ACCS.

“Two times during the four days, we will be there during different times. Have a chance to get in and get out and work from there,” he said. “The only work you can get in during the summer is 7-on-7 camps. We will definitely be working on our passing game.”