Panthers put on pads

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2006

Donald Ray Mixon closed out his first week of practice as the new head coach of the Georgiana Panthers Friday just as he wanted.

&#8220It went real good,” Mixon said following the Panthers' first day in pads Thursday.

Mixon said he liked the play of his team this week and Thursday's practice gave him an opportunity to see his team hit and it also gave him a chance to see &#8220who's the man or who wants to be the man.”

Some bright spots Mixon has seen this week is the competition being fought at several positions, including quarterback and punter.

At quarterback, Andre Paige and Jamie Busch have been pushing each all week and Mixon said the close battle is making him look at trying both players at other positions so that when the battle is over, he will be able to use the backup at another position since they are both physical athletes.

At punter, Paige is also in a heated battle with Kyle Nelson.

During practice Friday, several punts by Paige drew loud cheers when the hang time of his punts seemed to grow larger and larger.

The Panthers worked on special teams all week and Mixon said that facet of the game is vital to having a championship team.

&#8220I told them we are going to work on special teams everyday because you have to be good at it if you want to win,” Mixon said.

Now that the first week of practice is over, the Panthers will continue to work out in pads and will scrimmage versus J.F. Shields in a jamboree game August 24 at Harmon Field in Georgiana.