By Chris Bridges
Countdown to new season begins for BCHS
The Banks County High School football team will not play its first game of 2008 for almost four months.
Yet, early signs of work and preparation for that first game (officially set for Aug. 29 at Washington-Wilkes) could be seen last week behind the BCHS fieldhouse. For it was there that second-year Leopard head coach Blair Armstrong and his coaches were conducting spring practice as all eyes begin looking toward fall and the start of a new gridiron campaign.
Excitement could be one word to describe BCHS football at this point. There is excitement about the direction of this program. Additional progress was made during the 2007 season, which continued what had been accomplished in 2006 and 2005.
Last fall, in Armstrong’s first season at BCHS, the Leopards finished as the Region 8-AA North runner-up, falling just short of a subregion championship. Since that time, many hours have been spent in the weight room getting stronger and there was a sense of anticipation on the practice field late last week.
While BCHS will have to replace some key seniors who will be lost to graduation, the Leopards have several standouts returning and that was evident during the early portion of spring practice. Some key players were missing due to their commitments to the baseball and track programs. Armstrong, however, said that simply gives other players a chance to step up and show what they can do. Spring drills are an important time to build depth for the upcoming season and many players are getting a chance to shine during the practice sessions.
The overall numbers in the program continue to grow. Armstrong said 38 eighth graders took part in a practice session earlier this spring. Approximately 60 upperclassmen are now involved with the program.
“It’s good to see our numbers going up,” Armstrong said as he broke down the first two days of spring drills. “It’s good to see the players excited about being part of the football program.”
The players did not practice the first three days of this week because of academic testing. The Leopards will return to the field Thursday and Friday before practicing all of next week.
Chris Bridges is a reporter for The Banks County News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.