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Varsity football Gamecocks head to Mercer camp
As the Aug. 14 scrimmage date at AAAAA Effingham County begins to draw near (five weeks), the defending Region 3AA football champion SCHS Gamecocks will head to Mercer University today, July 9, to begin three days of drills in preparation for the rigors of their 2015 schedule.
Following the GHSA imposed “dead week” last week (when no sports team may practice), the Roosters hit the ground running this week with continued workouts in the weight room and morning team workouts for conditioning. Those workouts were the first three days of this week with the team leaving for Macon this morning.
“We went to Shorter last year for this type camp and it was probably the best thing we have done here,” said head coach Ron Duncan. “It kind of kick starts the season. With so many practice restrictions imposed by the GHSA and school starting before we can have full contact drills, this is almost a necessity.”
Taking approximately 50 kids for the three days, the travel list includes the expected two-deep depth chart which consists of mainly the older group. It is true that not all of the older kids will go to Macon and not all of the younger kids will remain in Sylvania.
“Those who are most likely going to be playing on Friday nights,” are how Duncan described the group.
With only helmets allowed, the Gamecocks will participate in drills such as 7-on-7, linemen challenge, and other fundamental/conditioning drills with other schools present including Warner Robins and Veterans high schools.
More conditioning will be one of key elements as well as more implementation of the offensive and defensive schemes along with specialty teams.
Duncan also will take his troops to Burke County on July 23 for what is called an “Uppers Camp” as all participants may wear shoulder pads in addition to the helmets allowed this week.
On July 27, the Gamecocks will begin regular practice with five days of required acclimation. Duncan plans a Monday-Thursday week for that with the fifth day of acclimation coming on Monday, Aug. 3. Tuesday, Aug. 4, will be the first day of full contact drills.
While pointing out that last year’s trip to camp at Shorter was tremendous and another similar camp this year well worth the while, Duncan has changed one aspect of his summer routine.
Employing what has become known as the “Win at 10,” the Roosters have been doing conditioning workouts, traditionally in the evenings, at 10 a.m.
“We have still had great numbers and we have not been battling afternoon thunderstorms,” he said. “There may be a few more missing folks because of this schedule, but we have gotten considerably more work done this summer as compared to last and I think we will be in better shape because of it.”