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Prep grid teams sweat out first day in full pads

Prep grid teams sweat out first day in full pads

Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:00 pm

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Press Sports
Don Coady wiped the dripping sweat from his brow at Friday’s picture day, smiled slightly and said: “When I quit, I’m not going to miss this.”
Nonetheless, amid the triple-digit temperatures and swelting hummidity, the start of the 2012 high school football season is less than three weeks away and prep teams across Tennessee were allowed to practice in pads on Monday in preparation for such.
All four Weakley County clubs began preparation for their respective 2012 season openers with full-gear work and will continue with sessions of varying length — both early in the morning and in the evening as teams look to find productive practice time before the state-mandated heat index rule that prohibits full-gear practice once that figure hits 105 degrees.
Acclimating themselves to the sultry elements has certainly been critical as each team will both Westview and Dresden play three games before the calendar turns to September.
Each of the four local teams donned their equipment after extensive 7-on-7 passing competitions the past three weeks that have become a staple of offseason workouts for most every club.
And all will cap their first several days of full-scale practices with a scrimmage on Friday or Saturday.
Westview, coming off a 7-5 campaign that saw the Chargers put together a late- four-game winning streak that ended in a second-round playoff loss to eventual Class 3A state runnerup Milan, will continue its annual trend of scrimmaging Chester County — doing so Saturday at 9 a.m. at Graham Stadium.
Martin will then participate in the Pepsi MidAmerica Challenge at Henry County High School on Aug. 10, facing Lexington in the second of four two-quarter matchups in the jamboree that is slated to begin at 6 p.m.
The event will also feature the host team Patriots — last year’s unbeaten Class 5A state champions who’ll conclude the night by squaring off against Milan — and also Dresden, the 2011 Class 2A state runnerup.
The Lions, who’ll face Trenton at 8 p.m. in the jamboree setting, will be marking the beginning of a new era in their program under first-year head coach Keith Hodge.
Hodge was the program’s offensive coordinator the past three seasons — including a year ago when Dresden won four straight road playoff games on its way to a 12-win campaign and the program’s first-ever BlueCross Bowl experience.
Dresden will participate in its first preseason Friday, hosting South Fulton.
Gleason, coming off a 6-6 record in which it won a home playoff game for the first time and advanced to the second round of the postseason for just the second time ever, will scrimmage twice and then host its own jamboree.
Veteran head coach and Bulldog alumnus Noah Lampkins’ 2012 squad will taste its first preseason action in a scrimmage Friday at Trinity Christian Academy.
Gleason will then host Lake County Aug. 7 for another session starting at 5:30 p.m.
One of the few teams not with a Week 0 opener, the Bulldogs will play host to Collinwood in a modified jamboree setting on Aug. 17, according to the coach.
The varsity teams will play the first half, the jayvee the second. No start time has been set.
Gleason will open its regular season with a home game vs. county cousin Greenfield Aug. 24.
New G’field head coach Don Pitt has put his troops to work immediately as he looks to put his stamp on a program that has lost 11 consecutive games, including all 10 in the 2011 season.
The Yellowjackets will host another team that didn’t win last season — and hasn’t since the 2008 campaign for that matter — when Gibson County comes to town for a scrimmage Friday night at 7.
Greenfield will then participate in a modified jamboree at GCHS Aug. 10, with both the host Pioneers and Fulton City also involved as well as the Gibson County Jr. High program and that of Three Oaks.
Published in The WCP 7.31.12

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