2005-08-04 / Front Page

Sweltering heat plagues Devils at football camp

Fifty-two Red Devils participated in football camp held Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29, at LCHS.

In spite of the blazing heat, a lot of learning and team-building took place during the week. The team is

scheduled to play a pre-season game against Thomson High School Friday, August 5, at 8 p.m. in Thomson.

Pictured are the Red Devils in the midst of a defensive drill.

Fifty-two Red Devils participated in football camp held Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29, at LCHS. In spite of the blazing heat, a lot of learning and team-building took place during the week. The team is scheduled to play a pre-season game against Thomson High School Friday, August 5, at 8 p.m. in Thomson. Pictured are the Red Devils in the midst of a defensive drill. Fifty-two Red Devils braved extreme heat and humidity to take part in the annual rite of summer known as football camp.

The camp was held Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29, at LCHS.

“The heat was horrible,” said Larry Campbell, head football coach and athletic director at LCHS. “We scheduled practices around the heat index and gave the kids more water breaks than usual. Still, some of our players suffered from severe cramps.”

Due to the heat, the team started working out at 6 a.m. each day. Some nights, practices ran as late as 10 p.m.

“The players’ work ethics were superb,” the coach continued. “They had great attitudes and their behavior was exemplary. We did not have even one disciplinary problem. In fact, the people at Faith Temple, where we were housed, complimented our kids on their manners. I couldn’t be prouder of this group.”

Another plus was there were no major injuries during the week.

However, with only three starters returning on offense and two on defense, the team had to work very hard at camp. The three returning offensive starters are Shawntavius Jennings, Chase McGill, and Brandon Barden; Jennings and Durell Norman are the two returning starters on defense.

Coach Campbell noted that the freshman and junior classes are huge, but there are only eight seniors on the entire squad which is the lowest number in years. In addition to Jennings and McGill, the other seniors on the team are Ryan King, Trey Morris, Deron Lee, Alterrique Smith, Daniel Biles, and Jonathan Norman. Norman is suffering from an ankle injury but should be back by the beginning of the season.

In other comments on camp, Campbell thanked the following for their help in making the week a success:

the congregation at Faith Temple and Addison Belangia, pastor of the church; Ficklen Guin, nutrition director at LCHS, and the school’s lunchroom staff; the employees of the Home Cafe; and former Red Devil John Ludwig, Jr., a standout at both LCHS and Furman University.

“Most of the cost of camp was covered by a donation from John Ludwig, Jr.,” stated the coach. “It is great to see someone doing exceptionally well in the business world who has not forgotten his roots.”

Camp concluded with a jamboree which pitted LCHS against the Portal High School Panthers from Bulloch County.

“It was obvious that Portal took the game a little more seriously than we did — they were playing to win,” said Campbell. “Nevertheless, that was not our approach to the jamboree. We were out there to play and try to get better. We had a script to follow and our goal was to run as many of the plays as we could and not worry about the score. During the regular season, the emphasis will be on winning games.”

The coach further indicated that the Red Devils’ biggest hindrance at the jamboree was their low number of returning starters. “We did not play exceptionally well against Portal. We are short on both the offensive and defensive line of scrimmage — it’s just one of those years, but we will get better as we go on. Still, I’m not that disappointed — we were playing with what amounted to a new offense.”

Portal returned 10 players on both offense and defense.

Looking toward the scrimmage set for Friday, August 5, against Class AAA Thomson at the Brickyard, Coach Campbell said the Red Devils will once again run through the scripted plays, period. “Our objective is to get better and avoid injuries.” The game, which is set to begin at 8 p.m., will feature four nine-minute quarters and an abbreviated kicking game. The varsity will play for three quarters, with the second string/JV taking the field for the remaining quarter.

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