Local football teams continue offseason workouts, preparation
Published 12:02 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015
By Jackson Carpenter
NATCHEZ — Area football coaches have one thing on their minds during the summer — get better.
In order to do so, teams have been hitting the weight room and competing in 7-on-7 games in hopes of gaining a competitive edge before the season begins. But scheduling 7-on-7 contests has been an upward trend in the area.
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“I am a believer in 7-on-7 (contests),” Delta Charter coach Dwayne Taylor said. “7-on-7’s is somewhere you can work on getting timing down between your quarterback and wide receiver.”
Vidalia head coach Jeff Hancock shared Taylor’s opinions.
“No doubt it helps your skill guys,” Hancock said. “We have grown so much on both offense and defense just within the past couple of 7-on-7’s. If you are not a believer in 7-on-7, than you probably just run the ball.”
Adams County Christian School head coach David King has had his fair share of success in 7-on-7 competitions this summer, but instead of using it as a measuring stick for his team, King views it as an opportunity to further condition his athletes.
“We use it more as conditioning, but it’s kind of more like Xbox/backyard-type stuff,” Adams County Christian School head coach David King said. “I’m highly competitive but I don’t take stock in those 7-on-7 wins.”
Looking to find a medium between size and speed, King has had ACCS focusing on both strength and agility during June, then his team will begin conditioning in July.
“The workouts have been really good,” King said. “The majority of our players have been here and are ready to work.”
Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing has his team participating in them, as well, but he’s focusing on conditioning his team for the upcoming season through a new conditioning program.
“We work on strength in the weight room, but afterwards we go down to the field to work on conditioning by going through a circuit similar to Alabama’s ‘4th Quarter’ drill,” Rushing said.
The ‘4th Quarter’ drill is a series of stations, ranging from pro agility to broad jump to ladders, the players circulate through for two and a half minutes each, with water breaks in between.
Although it is a change in conditioning, Rushing knows “anything you can do to improve the team is a good thing.”
Although both Natchez High School head coach Henry Garner and Ferriday High School head coach Dwight Woods had a late start to their team conditioning, both were quick to jump on the 7-on-7 bandwagon.
While communication issues hindered his team’s workouts at first, Natchez High School head coach Henry Garner is looking forward to reaping the benefits of future 7-on-7 games.
“It gets the timing down on offense, and it is good because it gives the guys a somewhat feel of game speed,” Garner said.
Likewise, Ferriday High School head coach Dwight Woods knows the struggle of a late start.
“There are some growing pains seeing as how we only started about a week ago, and we are installing an entirely new offensive system,” Ferriday High School head coach Dwight Woods said.
Even with a late start, Woods is a firm believer in the benefits of competing in 7-on-7’s.
“We really want our defensive players to be able to read route combinations like curl-flat and post-wheel,” Woods said.
As for Trinity Episcopal Day School, head coach Zach Rogel is enjoying seeing his team have a chance to improve on both sides of the ball.
“I am glad to see our quarterback coming along with his reads,” Rogel said. “As far as defensive backs go, it is nice seeing them get some work in against some more pass-happy teams.”