Wolfpack making progress

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WESSON – Tuesday afternoon’s rainfall brought some welcome relief to preseason football practice at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Players and coaches have wrestled with the heat wave since practice began last Wednesday.

Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis said his players are coping with the high heat and humidity. “We are coming along. The kids are trying to push themselves. We’ve probably had the hottest week this summer.

“We didn’t get much done Monday because of lightning,” Davis continued. “We have some players out with bumps and bruises and dehydration.”

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Saturday was the Wolfpack’s first practice in full equipment. Davis said his team would scrimmage this afternoon. They’ll travel to Ridgeland Saturday for a scrimmage against Holmes Community College.

“I like the way our linebacker group has looked,” said Davis. “We are still evaluating our D-line. They are young guys.”

Defensive ends Terrell Hartsfield and Jerrell Jordan signed last February with Cincinnati.

Linebackers Jordan Harris, Carroll Phillips and Edward Mudrow have impressed Davis. “I like their athleticism.”

Sophomore safety Greg Sims directs the Co-Lin secondary. Davis said, “Our secondary is looking better. Our safety guys are athletic.” Co-Lin lost five starters from the 2012 offensive line that helped the Wolfpack win the MACJC State Championship last November and post a 9-3 record. Xavier Dampeer has moved from the defensive line to center.

“Our offensive line is progressing,” said Davis. “Our tight ends are improving.”

Veteran wide receivers Christian “Bubba” Keene, Casey Gladney and Ross Hill have plenty of experience with the Co-Lin passing game. Replacing all-state quarterback Chandler Rogers, an Arkansas State signee, is a priority.

“Our quarterbacks are coming along,” said Davis. Freshman Daniel Fitzwater and transfer Luke Hopson have had a good showing. Hopson quarterbacked Co-Lin through spring practice.

Davis said freshman quarterback Zach Smith “is absorbing what we are doing. Going in, our plan is to redshirt Zach.”

Nolan Long, a 2-year starter as Co-Lin’s kicker and punter, must be replaced.

Newcomers Trent Furr and Blaine Jones are expected to be the punter and kicker. Terry Smith is the new long snapper.

Preseason practice is a learning process. The incoming freshmen have a lot to learn in a short period of time. Most of them attended summer school and participated in volunteer weight training and conditioning.

“They are learning our way of doing things,” said Davis. “The mental part is tough on our young guys.”

Co-Lin makes its 2013 debut Aug. 29, hosting the Northeast Tigers.