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Duncan extremely pleased with Gamecocks’ Mercer mini-camp
With the opening Effingham County scrimmage now four weeks and a day away, SCHS Gamecock head football coach Ron Duncan expressed pleasure after his team’s trip to a three-day “mini-camp” at Mercer University last week.
The intensity of preseason work continued to increase this week as the team went to Effingham County for passing league contests with, among others, the Rebels, Jenkins of Savannah, and Groves.
Tuesday the 21st will find Effingham County here for passing before the team goes to Burke County for an “uppers camp” (including shoulder pads) on July 23.
“Overall, Mercer was really good for us,” said Duncan. “We were able to get our kids away, to a college campus … a different environment than Screven County. They got to see other people and work with other schools that we don’t normally see. It was just a good experience.”
As to what really stood out to Duncan during the three days (Thursday p.m. though Saturday a.m.) was attitude.
“As good as that aspect of our team was a year ago, it is even better now,” Duncan said. “They all expect to work hard; we don’t have to work it out of them, they just expect it. They are all getting ‘more coachable.’”
To this point in the season, Duncan has employed what the players call a “win at 10” practice schedule that has seen the team do its workouts in the morning.
Heading to Macon, the team had not missed a workout to that point. Going from Macon to Warner Robins High School to participate in seven-on-seven as well as lineman drills, things were delayed better than 15 minutes by weather Thursday evening despite a 0 percent chance of rain.
Practicing with both AAAAA Warner Robins and AAAA Veterans High Duncan felt like the Gamecock skill players more than held their own against much larger opposition.
“We did do seven-on-seven against both of them at the same time,” he said. “Because we have a lot of folks going both ways that did give us some problems, but we showed quite well for ourselves.”
Friday morning the team worked on implementing the offense and the defense.
As for offensive plans, Duncan continued what he said in the spring, “We are going to do what we do, what has been successful for us (two region championships in three years), but I still believe that to get to the next level we must expand what we do. For that reason, we will be adding some more to the offense.”
Inclement weather cost the team what was scheduled to be a special teams practice on Friday afternoon with Friday evening and Saturday morning more of the same work on offense and defense.
Duncan also wanted to add that the team had a “great” team meeting on Thursday to discuss goals for the season and other things. He also expressed appreciation to the Mercer staff for their hospitality.
“There was a coach with us at all times,” Duncan said. “They offered to video for us. They piped in music for us. It was just a good experience.”
Tonight, July 16, members of the SCHS coaching staff and select senior football players will be at CSRA Coaches and Captains Banquet hosted by the Augusta Chronicle and WJBF Channel 6.