Sawyer hosts lineman camp at Cathedral

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NATCHEZ — New Cathedral football coach Ron Rushing hasn’t wasted any time getting his players coached up.

Last week, Rushing invited Belhaven University strength coach Garret Rayborn to Cathedral to help his athletes with summer conditioning.

Rushing didn’t miss a beat this week, recruiting former Centreville and Ole Miss offensive lineman Justin Sawyer to put on a lineman camp Monday.

“He does another lineman camp over in McComb, and we couldn’t go over there last year, so we asked him if he could come here this year,” Rushing said.

“We’re just trying to improve on skills this summer. We’re hitting the ground running. I don’t want a kid to point to me and say, ‘Hey, you didn’t do this for me,’ so I try to give them every opportunity to get better.”

And Sawyer said he has no problem doing what he can to help improve the play of high school athletes.

“I love working with kids. Any advantage I can give them I’d love to, because that’s why we’re put here, to help them,” Sawyer said.

“I’m just teaching them drills, techniques and coaching points I learned in college. In college, I was taught to use my hands and footwork more. I’m just teaching them those small things that can give you an advantage, and any advantage you can get in football is good.”

Sawyer also credited Centreville coach Bill Hurst with things he picked up on.

“Back when I played for Coach Hurst, he was a you-get-after-it kind of coach, and I learned a lot when I played for him and coached with him later,” Sawyer said.

Rushing said he was pleased with the technique improvement Sawyer was instilling into his linemen.

“He talks a lot about footwork and hand placement, and doing more than trying to just whip up on the guy in front of you,” Rushing said.

“Technique is important, especially when you’re not as big as the guy in front of you, and we’re going to be the smaller team most of the time. He’s someone I’ve coached against in the past, and I’ve always been impressed with the lines he’s coached.”

Although he enjoys doing it, the summer work he does with young athletes is the only coaching he’s doing right now, Sawyer said.

“I’m just teaching at North Pike right now. I have a little girl at home, and I’m just taking care of her and spending time with her and my wife.”