The summer months don't typically make for a hard knock life when it comes to high school football, but Sean Calhoun provided his troops with a smash-up, send-off heading toward fall camp.
The second-year Carrollton High School head football coach closed out the summer by taking his team to the 2017 Southeastern Defensive Football Camp on the University of West Georgia campus this weekend, where the helmets and shoulder pads were popping in one of the most physical competitions over the past two months for the Trojans.
"It's called the Southeastern Defensive Camp for a reason," Calhoun said. "It is a defensive-emphasis, defensive-run camp. Our defensive staff is doing a great job. Coach [Jeff] Herron, who runs the thing, does a great job. The physicality is good because now we get to assess our kids. You know, who is going to shy away and who really likes contact. Because football is a contact sport."
The three-day event started on Friday and wraps up this afternoon and Calhoun noted that along with the physical nature of the camp and the on-field instruction he and his coaching staff are able to provide, it also serves as a tremendous team-bonding experience on the eve of the 2017 season.
"We'll have three days together. Literally, we're together the whole day. We sleep in the gym. We slept in in Friday night, we'll sleep in it Saturday night. We eat together, we do football together, we had a great devotional [Friday] night and we'll have a devotion [Saturday] night," Calhoun said.
Carrollton was one of four teams on hand for the camp, and Calhoun said it provides an opportunity to get an in-depth look at different schemes and personnel over the duration of three days of getting after it in a controlled, yet hard-hitting environment.
"Jefferson County's a good program, McEachern is a good program and T.L. Hanna from South Carolina. So we get to see different defenses, different offenses and it's our first time that we get to hit and truly compete, which has been fun," Calhoun said.
The Trojans have been going pretty much nonstop this summer outside of the GHSA-mandated 'Dead Week' during the Fourth of July holiday, and Calhoun noted how it's been a productive stretch of primarily lifting and conditioning in order to get the players' bodies and minds ready for the grind that is about to start come July 24, which marks the first day of official practice for the 2017 season.
Following Sunday's camp finale, the Trojans will have next week off to recharge for what lies ahead in what Calhoun hopes is a march into the month of December.
"Just a good break because this is the hardest week for us because we've been going since Monday," Calhoun said. "So we'll go Monday through Sunday. So seven full, true days of workouts and conditioning and a three-day padded camp. Then we'll give them next week off and the 24th, that's Day 1 of practice."
Overall for the summer, Calhoun had no complaints about the procedure of getting from Point A to Point B, which Carrollton has pretty much now arrived at as it settles in for the start of fall camp in good health and good spirits.
"The biggest thing that we can ask these kids in the summer because of all the rules and regulations is for them to pound that weight room and for them to condition as hard as they can so when the 24th comes they're in the best shape of their life," Calhoun said. "I can't ask any more than that. They've done a great job and I've got to give it to our kids that play multiple sports. There's kids that are doing football-baseball, football-basketball and football-track, and it's tough. They've been showing up and giving it their all. It's been awesome."