Vidalia kicks off fall camp with new attitude, hopes for better season

Published 12:17 am Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia’s Charles Albert, left, blocks for running back Trashone Mayes during afternoon practice Monday.

vidalia — The Vidalia High School football team strapped on its helmets for the first time this summer to begin camp Monday.

The Vikings took to the practice field with a new determination to bounce back after a disappointing 0-10 season last fall, head coach Gary Parnham said.

“Coming off an 0-10 season, it’s difficult to tell where we are right now (just one day into practice),” Parnham said. “We were a little better after spring, and I thought we gained that much more experience.”

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Parnham said he hopes the young players that suffered through a tough 2011 will be motivated and more experienced this fall, but time will tell.

“There are still a lot of questions,” he said. “The first two weeks (of camp) will tell us a lot.”

Parnham said one key to the success of this year’s team would be finding leadership among some of the veteran players on the squad.

“This spring we had some guys step up and take roles as leaders, and we need them to do that in the fall,” Parnham said. “Last year when we were going through our struggles, we didn’t really have a predominant leader that stepped up to keep them focused on what the goals were at the time.”

Parnham said he was happy with the summer workout program, and the Vikings worked hard in the weight room.

Monday Vidalia worked on getting back to basics on the first day of camp.

“We want to get the quarterbacks throwing to receivers and work on some things,” Parnham said.

Today Vidalia will start implementing its offensive and defensive systems.

Parnham said there is a rush during the first week and a half of practice, because the Vikings’ first scrimmage is set for Aug. 16 against LaSalle.

“I am very anxious to see them play (in a scrimmage),” he said. “I know when I played, we got tired of hitting on each other and basically we have one week of hitting, and they will be ready to hit on somebody else.”

Parnham said the scrimmage and the jamboree will help him figure out what personnel groupings he will use when the Vikings open the season Aug. 31 against Block.

Parnham said he knows his players are as ready as himself to get the season started.

“The nucleus is ready to start turning this thing around,” he said. “They might not turn it around completely in one year, but they are ready to start.”