Co-Lin copes with scorching heat

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2007

WESSON — Parched and boiled.

Football players and coaches at Copiah-Lincoln Community Collegeare coping with the high heat and heavy humidity as they laborthrough the first week of preseason practice. Heat indices havesurpassed three digits.

“It’s been hot,” said Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis. “We’ve hadtwo practices and we are challenging them to get better. It doesn’ttake long for you to get tired mentally and physically in thisheat.”

Davis said most of the players are newcomers to the program. Heis relying on sophomore team members to provide leadership. Theyare preparing for a Sept. 30 season opener at Northwest CommunityCollege in Senatobia. The Wolfpack’s first practice wasTuesday.

“We are relying on our sophomores for leadership,” said Davis.”They are stepping forward.”

Wide receiver Alpha Sanders, along with linemen Phillip Freemanand Edward Prince, and fullback Kentrell Cleveland are thesophomore veterans on Co-Lin’s offense. The helped lead theWolfpack to a 9-3 record and No. 6 national ranking last season,including a 21-0 victory over Georgia Military College in the SeaIsland Golden Isles Bowl Classic in Brunswick, Ga.

On defense, ends D.J. Shaw and Raven Gray, linebacker TreyHardaway and safety Johnny Sanders are veterans who saw major dutyon the 2006 squad.

Davis said the incoming group of freshmen showed plenty ofpotential. “We have a good looking group but they are very young.We are still trying to get people in the right positions.

“We are throwing a lot of stuff at them,” he continued. “Some ofit is sinking in.”

Davis said precautions are being made for coping with theheatwave. “We’ve been practicing at 3:30, the hottest time of theday. We are making sure they get plenty of water.”

Although the practice field hasn’t seen a drop of rain inseveral days, Davis said there are a few soft places remaining fromrecent rainfall.

Co-Lin’s squad must be reduced to 55 players before the seasonopener at Northwest.