Vikings work for fall

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 17, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Jerry McJimsey performs a leg press during the Vidalia High School football team’s summer workout Friday morning in Vidalia.

Vidalia — The Vidalia High School football team is beginning to see the light at the end of the long tunnel that is summer workouts, and fall practice is right around the corner.

The Vikings’ final summer workout sessions, which started May 31, are scheduled until Aug. 5, and fall practice begins Aug. 8, head coach Gary Parnham said.

“The conditioning is getting better,” Parnham said. “They are running and getting stronger, and seem to be breezing through. They have a great attitude and are working hard.”

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Parnham said he is impressed by the fact that many of his players are showing an eagerness to get better.

“A lot of times we will start at 9 a.m. and they will pull up at 8:30 a.m. ready to go,” he said.

Parnham said a lot of the team’s drive is coming from its seven seniors.

“The seniors are taking on leadership roles, and we see it every day,” he said. “After running they are the first to get in there and team the guys up, and the coaches stay out (of those meetings).

“In our conditioning, (when) guys (are) struggling, they are encouraging them.”

Parnham said he hopes the offseason leadership of his seven seniors will carry over into the season.

The Vikings have been working Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays this summer.

Parnham said the team saw a slight dip in workout attendance earlier this month due to players going on family vacations, but attendance is on the rise again with only three weeks left to go.

He said they average approximately 50 players each day from a roster of approximately 65 players.

Parnham said it is a good sign that workout attendance is on the rise, because it is important the Vikings finish strong this offseason.

“It’s very important, because the way you finish in here is the way you start the season,” he said.

Parnham said this year’s team should be physically stronger than last season because of the hard work they put into the offseason workouts.

“They have taken ownership during the summer program,” he said.