The Apalachee High School football team is going to try something a little different when it comes to spring practice this year.
The Wildcats will take advantage of something offered for the first time by the Georgia High School Association in that AHS will not have traditional spring drills. By doing so, this will enable the Wildcats to have two preseason scrimmages in August.
“It just came down to the fact with us that with school getting out so early, it crunches everything in terms of trying to get it done,” said AHS football coach Shane Davis. “Spring sports are still going on so you are either going to lose some of the players involved in other sports or they will finish one sport on a Friday and then go to work in full pads on Monday. That just doesn’t seem to be the way to get it done. It’s rough when you don’t have a break.”
In addition, the coach noted, once spring practice ends athletes are jumping into summer baseball or basketball.
The Wildcat football players will continue to do some offseason conditioning in the weight room this spring, but there will be no workouts in helmets, shoulder pads or any equipment.
For the 2014 season, Aug. 1 is the designated date for full contact practice to begin. The Wildcats will then have a scrimmage the following week at Morgan County. AHS will also have a home scrimmage Aug. 15 against Monroe Area at home. The regular season will begin two weeks after the final scrimmage.
“The first scrimmage is kind of early, but we didn’t want to have a scrimmage the week before our first regular season game,” Davis said.
While this is something different for the AHS program, Davis said if it doesn’t work out the way the coaches like, they can always change back for 2015.
“With this option being presented, we simply wanted to see if it is beneficial,” the coach said.
Despite coming off an 0-10 season, the offseason program has been a productive one for the AHS football program. Many of the team members were part of the Iron Cats weight lifting team, which finished second in the state among higher classification schools.
“The kids performed well,” Davis said. “It was a big event to pull off at our school, but our coaches and volunteers were awesome. We had help from other schools and the event went well.”
Back on the football field, the Wildcats will continue to compete in Region 8-AAAAA this fall and look to work their way into postseason contention.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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