Players#039; passion for football just what the doctor ordered

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 15, 2006

Greenville football coach Bryant Vincent now knows what kind of kids he is dealing with when it comes to trying to rebuild a struggling program.

During the three-day orientation practice sessions with the rising seventh and eighth-graders, Vincent was averaging about 64 players each day.

Almost 70 kids showed up on the first day and then the number dipped to 62 on Wednesday.

Vincent grew concerned, but it subsided on Thursday when a number of those kids who did not show up for practice on Wednesday brought him doctor's excuses.

&#8220I guess they were so used to bringing doctor's excuses for when they miss a day that they felt that they needed to bring me one, too,” Vincent said. &#8220I learned one thing about that, and it's that these kids love football.”

Vincent and his varsity coaching staff wrapped up drills with the rising seventh and eighth-graders on Thursday at Tiger Stadium. During the three day period, the staff introduced the team to basic terminology of the new offense and defense as well as techniques.

&#8220I was really impressed with the talent of this group,” Vincent said. &#8220The talent is there. They listened and worked hard. It's just a matter of commitment.

&#8220And I told the guys that if they commit themselves to what we are trying to do, then we're going to bring Greenville back to where it was as a state power.”

Vincent and his staff will return to the practice fields starting Monday afternoon for a three-day orientation with the rising freshmen.

&#8220We'll do the same thing we did with our seventh and eighth-grade guys for those three days,” Vincent said. &#8220We want to introduce them to the terminology and the new offense and defense.”

The rising freshmen will work out in T-shirts and shorts for those three days before joining the varsity for their first workout on April 24.

&#8220I enjoy rebuilding the situation here,” Vincent added. &#8220I feel like I have the assistants and the support to do it.”