With the start of preseason practice approaching, several area teams will be getting ready with contact camps.
Unlike the traditional seven-on-seven tournaments, the contact camps allow for shoulder pads and all 11 players on the field. Contact is allowed above the waist during the drills and team scrimmages.
“No question that this is beneficial since we go against different teams,” Alexander coach Matt Combs said. “You get to see some different offense and defensive looks. What I like is that you don’t get to prepare for the different teams but you have to react. You find out what type of players you have.”
The Cougars will make the short trek to the University of West Georgia campus for the three-day FCA Camp on Tuesday through Thursday. Chapel Hill and New Manchester will participant in a two-day overnight contact camp at Hiram.
Douglas County will make the two-day commute to Griffin on Monday and Tuesday to participant in The Last of The Hard Defensive Camp hosted by Spalding.
“It is a chance to finally put the pads back on,” said Alexander linebacker Aaron Casey, who has committed to Indiana.
“Any time you can get some contact work in, helps you get ready for the season,” Alexander offensive tackle Chris Hand said. “Hitting is what it’s all about.”
Douglas County was originally scheduled to attend the camp in Hiram, but accepted a chance to play in Spalding after another team backed out. The Spalding camp will feature playoff teams Ware County, Stockbridge, Lovejoy and host Spalding. Other teams include Creekside, South Cobb, Rockdale County and Vidalia.
“It is going to be real physical,” Tigers coach Johnny White said. “I want to see our young linemen in action. I want to see the decisions our quarterbacks make. We know what some of our older players will do, I want to see how the young guys respond against some playoff-caliber teams.”
This will be the second time this summer that New Manchester has been to the contact camp at Hiram.
The Jaguars attended the one in late June just before the GHSA-mandated “dead week” period.
“This is another opportunity to get some evaluation of the players against some live competition,” New Manchester coach Myron Terry said. “We try to go as many times as possible because it is relatively inexpensive. This is a great benefit to any program.”
Combs also likes the aspect of being their overnight in respect to team bonding. This is the Cougars’ eighth year attending the FCA Camp in Carrollton.
“We leave as 80 individuals and come back as one team,” Combs said. “This is just the next step in our program as the 2017 team starts to build their legacy. This will help set the tone for the upcoming season.”
The Cougars went 10-2 last season and finished as Region 5-AAAAAA runner-up. Alexander must replace some key players on both sides of the ball but return a strong nucleus.
“You start to get excited as the season starts to approach,” Casey said.