Practice off to ‘good’ start

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Andalusia players run a drill during the Bulldogs’ first day at practice Monday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Local football coaches said Tuesday that the first day of fall practice was as good as expected.

Andalusia, Straughn, Opp, Red Level, Pleasant Home and Florala hit the practice field, whether during rain or shine, in helmets and shorts, running drills and offensive and defensive plays.

Red Level head coach Tony Ingram said the Tigers’ first day of practice was two-fold.

“It was kind of Jekyl and Hyde, with good and bad,” Ingram said. “But for the first day, it was OK.”

Ingram said he’s having to get to know his “new” team.

“It’s a different bunch,” he said. “A different attitude. It’s hard to read these kids.”

Ingram added that his team’s personality at the moment has a lot to do with school starting later than normal. The state mandated that school begins on Aug. 20, when it would have started Monday.

“Still, it doesn’t feel like (normal),” Ingram said. “Once we got going (on Monday), we got through it. It rained on us, but we endured.”

Ingram said overall, he’d give the first day of practice a “B-minus.”

Pleasant Home wiped Monday’s midnight practice from their eyes later that morning and got back to work after starting its fall practice at 12:01 a.m.

PHS head coach Cody McCain said the first practice at midnight went well.

“We had about 32 kids who came,” he said. “That was the varsity only.

“When we got out there, everything cooled off,” he said. “After practice, we came back in and showered, then laid down for a few hours and went back out.”

The Eagles were able to get in another practice Tuesday morning before the rain came in, McCain said.

“We’re a little further along offensively than what our team is usually this time of the year,” he said. “We’re really not having to stall. We’re just trying to develop and polish.”

PHS will be back out at practice today at 3 p.m.

Straughn head coach Trent Taylor said it was a good night for them on Monday, as the Tigers pushed up their practice time to 5:30.

“You’re never going to look as sharp as you’d like to,” Taylor said. “That just means there’s plenty room for improvement.”

At Opp, the Bobcats got under way at 5 p.m. on Monday and players had a spring in their step, OHS head coach Jack Whigham said.

“The kids were excited to get to practice a little bit,” Whigham said “I was pleased with a couple things we got done.”

Whigham said the coaches saw a few younger kids get in some good reps and possibly they could get some playing time this season.

In Andalusia, Bulldogs head coach Brian Seymore said the first day went about as “normal” a first day can go.

“I liked the tempo of practice,” Seymore said. “The kids were moving around real well. We’ve got some things we have to work on with offensive and defensive schemes we’re trying to install.”

Added Seymore: “It’s a work in progress,” he said. “You can’t do it over night.”

An area that he said looked real good was Andalusia’s defense, Seymore said.

“Defensively, they’re way ahead of the offense,” he said. “That’s how it is especially with as many young linemen up front. I think we’ll continue to get better each day.”

Today is the last day for practice in shorts and helmets. Teams will begin practice in full pads tomorrow.