BIG SWEAT: Preseason football practice begins

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 4, 2008

Preseason football practice, a.k.a. The Big Sweat, officiallykicks off Monday at high schools across Mississippi. The playersand coaches will endure high heat and humidity as practice beginsin earnest.

On the area scene, five new head coaches will send their teamsthrough daily drills, leading up to the Aug. 29 season openers.Newcomers are Chris Calcote of West Lincoln, Wayne Rogers ofEnterprise, Herbert Davis Jr., of Brookhaven Academy, Trent Hammondof Franklin County and Todd McDaniel of Hazlehurst.

The players will work out in shorts and T-shirts for 3 days beforedonning shoulder pads Thursday. Full equipment will be permittedafter five days of practice.

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Members of the Mississippi Private School Association got a headstart on preseason drills, starting July 28. Their first games areAug. 22.

Nowadays, every football team has an offseason workout regimenwhich helps get the players in strong physical condition. Running,lifting weights and agility drills are a daily chore.

Brookhaven: Coach Tucker Peavey plans to welcome over 90 playersto practice Monday. The Panthers, are defending Region 6-4Achampions. They will be on the field at 3:30 p.m. each day.

“You’re not sure how many young ones (freshmen) will show up,” saidPeavey. He said many of the newcomers participated in offseasonworkouts with the varsity. The workouts were held four mornings aweek.

Peavey’s Panthers will participate in a jamboree at Wayne County inWaynesboro, Aug. 21.

West Lincoln: On Monday, the Bears will run in the morning andpractice about 3:30.

Calcote said he expects around 30 players to participate. “I’mpleased with our progress,” said Calcote.

Named West Lincoln’s seventh head coach in the 10-year history ofthe program, Calcote was athletic director at Mississippi GulfCoast Community College for 16 years. He is a Franklin Countynative.

The school will hold Meet the Bears Friday night and athletes inall sports will be recognized.

Lawrence County: The Cougars practice Monday at 5 p.m. afterteacher’s meetings. School starts Tuesday. Coach Mike Davis said heexpects 62 varsity players to report. Approximately 30 freshmenwill practice at a separate practice field.

Lawrence County will host a jamboree on Aug. 22. Visiting theCougars are West Jones, Mendenhall and Tylertown, starting at 7p.m.

Davis said the junior varisty teams also would participate.

Franklin County: Coach Hammond said the Bulldogs will practice at 5p.m. Monday. Hammond said he expects around 55 varsity players toreport.

Franklin County will host a jamboree Friday, Aug. 22. Joining theBulldogs are North Pike, Vicksburg and Port Gibson, starting at 6p.m.

Each game will be a regulation, 12-minute quarter.

Hammond moved to Meadville from Water Valley. He replaced GradyMcCluskey who took an assistant coaching position at Columbus.McCluskey coached the Bulldogs to the Class 3A state championshipin 2006 and they were runners-up to Louisville in 2007.

Loyd Star: Second-year head coach Ryan Ross said he expected around50 players to report for Monday’s 3 p.m. practice. The Hornets willhost a Lincoln County jamboree Aug. 22.

Bogue Chitto: Coach Gareth Sartin’s Bobcats will practice Monday at3:30 and continue that routine for the rest of the week. Sartinsaid he expects 32 players to report.

Brookhaven Academy: Coach Davis began preseason drills last Monday.The Cougars went through three busy days of camp at Percy QuinnState Park before coming home.

“Practice has been real hot,” said Davis. “We are working hard andgetting mentally tougher. We are learning fundamentals andterminology, too.”

He said he was pleased with his team’s progress. “We are makinggood strides.”

Davis replaced Bo Milton who took the McComb Parklane job whenCharlie Newlon retired. Milton, a Parklane alumnus, coached theCougars to back-to-back district championships.

Davis has 24 players on the varsity. The Cougars will visitParklane for a jamboree Aug. 15, starting at 6:15 p.m.

Enterprise: Coach Rogers said he anticipated 45 players to reportMonday, with practice set for 4:15. On Tuesday, when school begins,the Fighting Yellow Jackets will lift weights from 2-3 p.m. beforegoing outside to practice.

Principal at Loyd Star for the past four years, Rogers said hepreferred coaching to administration. He replaced Roe Burns whoretired at Enterprise.

Rogers said Meet the Yellow Jackets has been set for Friday night,Aug. 22. Athletes in all sports will be recognized at thattime.

Wesson: Coach Tommy Clopton expects 40 players to participate in 4p.m. practices Monday-Wednesday. His Cobras were runners-up in theRegion 6-2A race last year.

The Cobras will host a jamboree Aug. 22, starting at 7 p.m.Bassfield and Crystal Springs will participate.

Hazlehurst: Coach McDaniel said the Indians will start practice at4 p.m. and go until 6:30 p.m. The first-year head coach said heexpects 65-70 varsity players to report.

McDaniel said the Indians will host a jamboree Aug. 22, starting at6 p.m. Joining them are Jefferson County, Prentiss andWingfield.

McDaniel replaces Vernon Perry who coached the Indians for 2 years,winning the Division 6-3A title last season. McDaniel said he hasfilled his coaching staff. Andre Carter, Cory Sutton and RobertMcDaniel Jr., will work with him. He said assistant coach BrianMiles has taken a job in the McComb system.